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Golden Eagles drop pair of tight OVC contests at SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Tennessee Tech took Southeast Missouri to the wire twice Saturday afternoon, but dropped both games of an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader to the Redhawks. The host team claimed an 11-9 win in the nine-inning opener, then scored an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh to snare a 4-3 victory in the nightcap.

SEMO improved to 20-10 overall and 7-1 in the OVC. Tech dropped to 0-5 in the league and 13-19 overall.

The two teams will step onto the field Sunday at 1 p.m. for the final game of the series.

Golden Eagle starter Adam Liberatore (3-4) took the loss in the first game, while Redhawk ace Kyle Gumieny improved to 6-0. In the second contest, the loss went to reliever Steven Pryor (2-3) while SEMO reliever Shae Simmons (3-0) got the win.

A.J. Kirby-Jones and Chad Oberacker each collected four hits in the doubleheader.

The Golden Eagles scored twice in the second to tie the first game and added one in the third to take a 3-2 lead, but that advantage lasted only until the Redhawks scored three in the bottom of the third and added four in the fourth for a 9-3 lead.

Tech’s second inning included a leadoff walk to Ben Burgess and Cassanova Donaldson’s third home run of the season. In the third, Chad Oberacker walked and Burgess drove and RBI double to left for the 3-2 lead.

A two-run home run from Casey Jones and an RBI single by Tim Rupp pushed SEMO on top 5-3 in the third. An RBI double by Jim Klocke in the fourth put an end to Liberatore’s day, bringing in Chason Choate from the bullpen and Jones greeted him with his second two-run home run to make it 9-3. 

The Golden Eagles fought back with four in the sixth to cut the difference to 9-7. Zephan Guyear, Chad Hayes and Frankie Beech each singled to load the bases and Wulf hit a sacrifice fly off reliever Nick Thomas for the first run.

Tate McMillan ripped an RBI single to right and Kirby-Jones doubled to score another. The final run came on a groundout by Oberacker.

SEMO scored a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the eight to make it 11-7, and they made the difference as the Golden Eagles tallied two in the ninth for the final margin.

With two outs in the SEMO eighth, a pair of singles led to a two-run single by Rupp.

Burgess reached on an error to open Tech’s ninth inning rally, and Donaldson doubled. A wild pitch plated Burgess, and brought in Simmons in relief. He got a strikeout and a sacrifice fly from Beech, then ended the contest with a fly out. 

Tech took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the second contest, but the Redhawks answered with two in the bottom of the frame to tie the game.

In Tech’s first, McMillan singled and Kirby-Jones walked, setting the table for Oberacker’s RBI single for the first run. Seth Edwards also singled, making it 2-0, before SEMO starter Logan Mahon got the next two batters to look at called third strikes.

Parmley singled and Klocke hit a one-out double for SEMO’s first run, and Louie Haseltine’s RBI single tied the game.

Haseltine led off the SEMO fourth with a solo home run to put the Redhawks on top 3-2, and that’s how things stood through the next three innings.

Tech tied the game in the top of the seventh. Burgess drew a one-out, pinch-hit walk and pinch-runner Donaldson came around to tie the game when McMillan doubled to right center.

Simmons got Kirby-Jones to look at a third strike, then intentionally walked the red-hot Oberacker. A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position, but a fly out ended the threat and left things tied.
 
Ky Burgess led off the SEMO seventh with a double, bringing in Pryor to replace Henry on the mound for the Golden Eagles. After a wild pitch moved the runner to third, Pryor got a strikeout for the first out.

The Redhawks tried to score on a bunt, but Pryor threw out Burgess at the plate for the second out. Parmley singled, allowing Brett Russell to reach third, and an error in the outfield let him continue home with the winning run.