Five home runs lift Tech to OVC sweep, third place in OVC
Tech tied for third place in OVC, just one game from
the top in loss column
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Home runs were expected this weekend when Tennessee Tech hosted Morehead State in an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader, with the top three sluggers in the league taking their cuts.
And, five home runs by the host Golden Eagles helped lift Tech to a 5-3, 12-4 sweep Sunday afternoon in Bush Stadium, but the shots didn't come from the ususal suspects.
Ben Burgess hit a pair of two-run dingers in the first game, while Tate McMillan, Chad Hayes and Casanova Donaldson each delivered multi-run blasts in the second game. The wins allowed Tech (20-20 overall/6-5 OVC) to leap-frog past MSU (22-19/5-6 OVC) and vault from sixth place all the way into a tie for third place in the OVC standings.
The Golden Eagles are just one game behind league-leader Southeast Missouri in the loss column.
In the opener, senior Lee Henry (3-3) got the win in a tough dual with Morehead's Michael Bottoms (4-3). Henry worked 6 1/3 innings and struck out seven, allowing six hits and four walks before Stephen Pryor got the final two outs to earn his third save of the season.
Freshman Tristan Archer (3-1) got the win in the second game, with Chason Choate working the final three innings to each his first save of 2010.
MSU jumped on top 1-0 in the first inning Sunday. Drew Lee, who had three hits in the opener, banged a two-out single and stole second. Michael Fear walked and Cameron Flynn hammered an RBI single to right. Henry got out of further trouble, stranding two Eagle runners on base with a groundout.
Freshman Austin Wulf got Tech started in a three-run first inning with a single up the middle. Two groundouts moved Wulf to third, and he scored on a single by Chad Oberacker to tie the contest. Burgess slugged the first pitch from Bottoms out of the park for his first home run of the season and a 3-1 lead.
An error and Lee's second single of the contest, followed by a passed ball, put two Eagles in scoring position in the third but once again Henry snuffed the threat, getting an inning-ending called third strike.
Tech also left two runners stranded in the third after a walk and an error, before Bottoms got Burgess to pop up to end the frame.
Still nursing a 3-1 lead, Henry faced his biggest hurdle in the fourth as Morehead State loaded the bases with a single, an error and a walk, but a pop fly to second base put another zero on the MSU linescore.
The Eagles tied the game in the top of the fifth on a two-run home run by Cameron, who drove in all three MSU runs in the contest. Fear drew a one-out walk and Cameron slugged his 13the of the season.
Tech quickly regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on the second bomb of the contest by Burgess. Oberacker laced a two-out single, bringing Trey Smith in from the MSU bullpen and Burgess hit a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right center for a 5-3 TTU lead.
Lee led off the seventh with an infield single and with one out,
Pryor took the hill for the final two outs.
Three runs in the first inning and four in the third staked Archer to an early lead.
Wulf walked to start the first inning and McMillan hit his second home run of the season to the alley in right field for a quick 2-0 lead. With two outs, Burgess walked and Donaldson's double into the corner in left allowed the catcher to score from first for a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles got two runs back in the second on RBI singles from Bottoms and Travis Redmon, but Tech struck agin in the third to make it 7-2.A.j. Kirby-Jones walked and Oberacker doubled. The first run came home on a sacrifice fly by Burgess and the second on a sacrifice bunt by Frankie Beech. Hayes followed with a two-run homer, his third of the year.
Taylor Davis doubled and Andrew Deeds plated him with an RBI single in the fourth, bringing Choate into the contest. The Eagles added another single run in the fifth as Redmon singled and eventually scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Lee to make it 7-4.
The Golden Eagles got both of those runs back in the fifth. Burgess singled and Donaldson doubled, and Beech lifted a sacrifice fly to left for the first run. Zephan Guyear added an RBI single to make it 9-4.
The final three runs came in the sixth as McMillan and Burgess singled and Donaldson went yard, his fifth of the year.