Golden Eagles sweep double header; hang two on Youngstown on Saturday

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles went up 2-0 in the three-game series with the Penguins of Youngstown on Saturday, notching the win in each of Saturday's nine-inning contests.

Tech took an early lead in game one, but had to rally back in the bottom of the fifth to clinch the 10-6 victory.

Austin Wulf singled to right field in the lead-off spot in the bottom of the first and moved into scoring position when Zephan Guyear was hit by a pitch. Chad Oberacker's first hit of the evening scored Wulf and left put runners on the corners. Zach Stephens grounded into a double play but brought Guyear across the plate to give Tech the 2-0 lead.

The Golden Eagles put two more on the board in the bottom of the second as Casanova Donaldson singled and Evan Frazier launched his first career homer to put Tech up 4-0.

A huge fourth inning for the Penguins gave them the 5-4 lead however, starting with a walk to Jonathan Crist. Greg Dissinger notched a base hit and Neil Schroth ripped an RBI double to start the scoring. Tech starter Tristan Archer clocked Armani Johnson and a two out RBI walk to David Leon left the bases loaded and the score at 5-2. Drew Dosch's single scored Schroth, and Youngstown's Jeremy Banks followed up with a two-run single up the middle, putting the Penguins on top, 5-4.

TTU was able to put six more runs on the board, three each in the bottom of the fifth and sixth, to preserve the win for Archer. The Golden Eagle lineup worked reliever Blake Aquadro for three runs on four this, starting with a double from Ben Burgess to start of the bottom half of the frame. Donaldson's sacrifice bunt pushed Burgess to third, and he scored on a single by Devin Rivers. Two more singles from Frazier and Hayes loaded the bases, and two more runs scored on a hit-by-pitch and a walk to put Tech back on top, 7-5.

Stephens, Frazier and Hayes each notched hits in the bottom of the sixth, with a wild pitching bringing in the first run of the inning and Hayes' single through the left side bringing in two more.

Frazier led the Golden Eagles with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, including his home run, bringing in two runs for Tech. Hayes also recorded two RBIs on a 2-for-5 effort. Archer took the win for Tech, improving his record to 3-1, while Cullen Park notched a save for Tech. Aquadro shouldered his first loss of the season for Youngstown.

Golden Eagle righty Matt Shepherd held the Penguins scoreless through seven innings in game two, hurling a one-hitter with three walks and striking out six, while the Tech offense racked up 12 runs to dominate the game headed into the top of the eighth.

Donaldson's double in the bottom of the third put him in scoring position for Frazier's base hit, which Chad Hayes followed up with a two-shot homer to put Tech on top, 3-0. Chad Oberacker's solo shot in the third gave the Golden Eagles a 4-0 lead, while TTU put another run on the board in the fourth on a groundout RBI by Austin Wulf to set the score at 5-0.

The Golden Eagles really broke open the game in the sixth, as they notched six runs on five hits off of Youngstown's Padric Williams. Frazier, who went 3-for-4 again in game two, singled to right field after Devin Rivers' walk. Hayes' sac bunt pushed both runners to scoring position. Guyear was hit by a pitch, and Oberacker notched a bases loaded, two-out triple to bring all three runners home. Zach Stephens follow up with a two-shot long ball, and Burgess and Donaldson teamed up with a double and triple respectively for the final run of the inning, giving Tech an 11-0 lead.

Following another one-run inning in the bottom of the seventh for Tech, the Youngstown lineup worked the Tech bullpen in the top of the eighth to the max, as four different pitchers allowed seven runs on just one hit and seven walks. Andy Williams allowed two runs on two walks before being relieved by Wade Bilbrey, who walked two before inducing a sacrifice fly for out no. 1 of the inning. Jake McWhirter sent another two runs one, once with a wild pitch and another one a walk before Garrett Baugh came in with one out to finish the inning, and inevitably the game. The Golden Eagles were able to notch a bases loaded, infield fly, play at the plate double play to end the inning leaving two men on.

The Golden Eagles put a final run on the board in the bottom of the eighth to give them the win with a final score of 13-7.

Shepherd's one-hit performance earned him his first W of the season, improving his record to 102 while Kevin McCulloh fell to 1-2 after pitching five and recording five strikeouts for the Penguins. The two teams will meet for game three on Sunday at 12 p.m.