February 25, 2011

Rivers, Stephens strike hot; lead Tech to a win over Eastern Mich

Freshman Zach Stephens went 2-for-4 on the day including a double and a home run to start the Golden Eagles off en route to a 7-1 win over the Eagles of Eastern Michigan on Friday.

The Eagles put the first run up in the top of the third after Kyle Peterson got on base on a catching error and advanced to second on a hit by Ken Battiston. Brent Ohrman's sacrifice bunt pushed the runners to second and third for Daniel Russel, whose single brought Peterson across the plate.

Tech had an answer from Stephens in the bottom of the fourth though. Senior Chad Oberacker reached first base on a wild pitch strikeout and notched a stolen base to bring Stephens to the plate. The freshman launched a long ball to put the Golden Eagles ahead, 2-1.

EMU threatened in the top of the sixth inning, challenging Archer as the first three batters – Tucker Rubino, Ben Magsig and Zach Leonard – loaded the bases off the bat. Archer struck out Robert Wendzicki, made a force out play at the plate to get Rubino for out no. 2, and fanned Peterson to get out of the jam and send Tech into the bottom half of the inning.

The offense backed Archer in the bottom half, fueled again by Stephens with a two-out double. The hit brought Devin Rivers to the plate to drill his first homer of the season to give the Golden Eagles a 4-1 lead. An Eagle error stretched Zephan Guyear's base hit to second, and Chad Hayes' rip up the middle brought him home to give Tech the 5-1 hand at the end of the inning.

Hot hitting continued for the Golden Eagles in the seventh as singles by Casanova Donaldson, Rivers and Guyear put two more runs on the board, stretching the lead to 7-1 Tech.

Rivers went 2-for-4 on the day, logging three RBI's for Tech, while Stephen's efforts brought two across the plate.

Archer worked the Eagles for eight innings, fanning nine to get the win, while Wendzicki shouldered the loss for EMU.

The two teams will meet up for game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 1 p.m. Fans who can't make it out to the Averitt Express Baseball Complex for the game can follow the Live Stats here.