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Colonels come to Cookeville; Tech hosts this weekend’s OVC series

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech will play host in this weekend's OVC series against the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky, a three-game series set to begin with game one of a double-header event on Saturday at 1 p.m.

With their mid-week contest against the Tennessee Volunteers canceled, Tech is coming off of a rough weekend at Morehead State; the Golden Eagles dropped two straight to the Eagles after sophomore Tristan Archer's complete game win with 10 strikeouts in game one of the series. The 1-2 series leaves Tech at 6-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 17-21 overall headed into this weekend.

The Colonels, meanwhile, are 14-27 overall and 6-9 in conference play.

With a 70-54 lead on the lifetime series, Tech will look to senior vet Casanova Donaldson to continue providing offensive fuel for the Golden Eagles. Donaldson is currently hitting .336 (50-149) on the year with 24 RBI in 38 games played. Leading TTU in scoring is fellow veteran Chad Oberacker, hitting at a .303 mark with 37 RBI and a team-high eight home runs.

Donaldson and Oberacker, along with the rest of the Golden Eagle lineup, will face EKU righty Chris Hord first in game one. Hord is 1-1 on the year with a 5.40 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 14 earned runs on 27 hits and struck out 32 batters. On defense for the Golden Eagles, Archer will take the hill in game one, making his 10th start of the season and leading the team with 61.2 innings pitched and 51 strikeouts on the year.

Game two, slated for Saturday at 4 p.m., will showcase southpaw Kyle McGrath for EKU and right-hander Matt Shepherd for the Golden Eagles. McGrath has a 3-3 record on the year with 35 Ks and a 6.65 ERA in 44.2 innings pitched, while Shepherd's 4.61 ranks second in the Golden Eagle bullpen. Shepherd has worked 52.2 innings pitched for Tech and has 47 strikeouts.

Finally, Nick Price will man the hill in game three for Tech with a 3-3 record and a 5.31 ERA in 40.2 innings of work. He has struck out 27 batters and has a 5.31 ERA. Stephen Hefler will start game three for the Colonels, leading EKU with a 3.73 ERA and 60.1 innings pitched. He has 40 strikeouts in 10 starts, and has amassed a 4-4 record this season. The finale game is set to start at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Leading EKU at the plate is Richie Rodriguez, hitting at a .388 mark in 41 games played. In 160 at bats, Rodriguez has had 62 hits – 14 for extra bases – and 21 RBI.

Fans who can't make it out to Bush Stadium for this weekend's contests can follow the LiveStats here.