Golden Eagles go 1-1 against Morehead in Friday’s twinbill
MOREHEAD, Ky. – Tristan Archer pitched Tech's first complete game of the season, hurling for nine innings in game one of Friday's double-header on the road against the Eagles of Morehead State. Archer notched 10 strikeouts in 35 batters face, surrendering five earned runs on eight hits.
The Golden Eagle offense, meanwhile, held the lead for the entire game, but busted the seams with an eight run fifth inning that gave them a 10-1 lead headed into the bottom of the frame.
Tech put up two runs in the top of the first courtesy of Casanova Donaldson's third home run of the season and second in consecutive games. The two-shot long ball followed Austin Wulf's leadoff single and gave the Golden Eagles a quick 2-0 lead.
Morehead didn't score until the bottom of the third on a double by Austin Haney and a two-out single by Luke Bainer, cutting the lead to one, but were winded in the top of the eighth with an eight run frame by Tech.
MSU starter Trey Smith retired Tevis Sherfield for the first out of the fifth, but gave up back to back walks to Wulf and Donaldson to bring up three-hole hitter Chad Oberacker. Oberacker laced one over the right field wall to put Tech up 5-1 and bringing up Zach Stephens. Stephen's single and a walk to Chad Hayes brought in reliever Tyler Heinman, who promptly loaded the bases with a walk to Ben Burgess.
Devin Rivers brought in a run with a bases loaded single and a wild pitch saw Hayes across the plate before Michael Morris ripped the second homer of the inning, a three-shot ball into right center before MSU could stifle the next two consecutive batters.
The Golden Eagles saw 11 at-bats in the fifth, putting up eight runs on four hits and four walks to take a 10-1 lead. Morris went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI to lead Tech in game one, while Donaldson chipped in with a 2-for-4, two-run two-RBI effort.
The Eagles responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a single by Haney followed by a homer by Travis Redmon, and put single runs up in each the sixth and eighth innings to make the final score 10-5 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
Redmon's 1-for-3 performance yielded the only multi-RBI show of the day for Morehead, as he brought in two runs to lead the scoring. Haney and ___ Davis each went 2-for-4 at the plate, with one of Davis' hits working for an RBI.
Archer improved to 5-4 after his complete game, while Smith shouldered the loss, falling to 0-8 on the year in 4.1 innings of work.
Game two saw a turn of the tables however as Morehead's Garrick Whittle pitched a complete seven-inning contest, striking out 12 Golden Eagle batters and giving up just three runs on eight hits and two walks.
This time Morehead took the first lead, jumping out 4-0 on Tech in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with the first three batters of the line-up for Andrew Deeds' two-shot single into right field. With two left on and one out posted, Nick Duff roped a double down the right field line for two more RBI to put the Eagles on top.
Tech remained scoreless until a solo run in the fourth inning while Morehead built their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third. A hit by Deeds followed by two walks loaded the bases again, but the first run came in on a balk while the second was courtesy of an RBI groundout.
Evan Frazier and Devin Rivers combined for Tech's first run of game two, as Frazier worked a double off of Whittle and scored on Rivers' RBI single through the right side, but again went scoreless until the top of the seventh.
With a score of 6-1, MSU extended their lead with another solo-run inning in the bottom of the fifth, heading into the final two innings with a comfortable 7-1 lead.
Both teams went scoreless in the sixth, but Tech threatened to rally in the top of the seventh when Zach Stephens ripped a two-out, one on homer to cut the lead to its final 7-3. Unfortunately, Frazier couldn't keep the momentum going as his fly-out worked for the third of the inning.
Stephens went 1-for-4 in game two with two RBI, and Donaldson and Rivers each with 2-for-3 with River's notching the other RBI of the contest.
Matthew Shepherd was tagged for the loss for Tech, falling to 2-4 on the year and earning three Ks in 17 batters faced. Garrett Baugh pitched the final three innings for Tech, giving up one run on two hits and striking out one.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday in another 11 a.m. start for game three of the series.