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March 2, 2011

Golden Eagles go two straight; down Berea at home, 8-5

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles hung an 8-5 victory on Berea College Wednesday afternoon to win their second of five games this week.

Tech dominated from the get-go, putting six runs on the board and holding Berea scoreless through the first six innings of the contest. Freshman pitcher Garrett Baugh allowed only three hits through six, striking out two.

The Golden Eagle offense, however, logged nine hits in the first six innings, taking a 6-0 lead headed into the top of the seventh.

Senior Chad Oberacker had the hot bat first as he launched a solo shot in the bottom of the first to start the scoring. Austin Wulf was clocked by a pitch to follow, and pushed into scoring position by Ben Burgess' base hit. A ground-out moved him to third base, and he crossed home plate on a wild pitch to give Tech a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the third, two extra base hits put another run on the board for Tech, as Zach Stephens doubled down the left field line and crossed home plate on Casanova Donaldson's RBI triple. With no outs, Donaldson scored on Devin River's sacrifice fly to center field to give Tech a 4-0 lead at the end of the inning.

Tech struck again after two scoreless innings for both teams. Chad Hayes earned a walk and Oberacker singled, and both runners advanced on Wulf's sacrifice bunt. A play at the plate put Burgess on and took Hayes out, but Stephens ripped his second double of the game for two more runs, putting the Golden Eagles up 6-0.

Stephens went 2-for-5 on the day with two RBI's, while Oberacker notched one RBI with the same performance. Wulf displayed a 2-for-3 performance, while Rivers' perfect 2-for-2 at the plate yielded one run batted in.

Berea put their first run on the board in the top of the seventh when Mikey Scott scored on a passed ball after doubling down the right field line and advancing on two walks. Tech answered in the bottom half of the inning on a wild pitch and a fielding error to set the score at 8-1.

The real threat came in the top of the eighth though. Nick Price came in to relieve Baugh, and the Berea lineup worked him for four runs on four hits by Jared Moore, Scott, and Tee Ellis before he was relieved by Cullen Park, who forced the final out of the inning to leave the score at 8-5.

Berea loaded the bases on three hits in the top of the ninth in hopes to force the bottom half of the inning on another base hit by Moore, one by Aaron Bee and a third by Mat Wallace with two strikouts in the books. Park recorded the final K though, ending the game with the score still at 8-5 in favor of Tech.

Baugh's seven innings of work yielded his first win on the season, allowing three hits and recording four strikeouts. The W improved Tech's record to 3-6 overall. Berea threw eight pitchers, but starter Nathaniel Burcham took the loss.

The Golden Eagles will remain at home this weekend, hosting the Ohio Bobcats in a three-day, three game series starting on Friday at 3 p.m.