March 4, 2011

Tech and Ohio split games; Ohio wins game two 8-4

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --  The Golden Eagles handled game one of Friday's double-header, 8-5, but were unable to repeat the performance as the Bobcats held a lead for eight innings to snag the 8-4 win in game two.

The Tennessee Tech baseball team seized their largest lead of game one, 3-0 in the bottom of the third, but worked to keep a fighting Bobcat lineup at bay through nine.

A two-hit inning yielded three runs for the Golden Eagles as Devin Rivers launched his third homer of the season, a three-run shot, to bring in Ben Burgess after his single up the middle and Zach Stephens, who was hit by a pitch.

Ohio wasted no time in responding though, as they notched two runs in the top of the fourth and one in the top of the fifth to knot the game at three all. Dan Ward launched a one-out, two RBI homer to score Trace Voshell after his base hit in the top of the fourth, while Bryan Barnes clocked a solo shot for the 3-3 tie in the top of the fifth.

With starting pitcher Tristan Archer's win now on the line, the Golden Eagles notched two more runs on two hits in the bottom half of the inning. Burgess singled and advanced to third on Stephens' sixth double of the season. With two in scoring position, Casanova Donaldson laid down a sacrifice bunt for an RBI, while Bobcat pitcher Seth Streich's wild pitch gave Tech the 5-3 lead.

Again, over two innings, Ohio tied the game at five on an RBI double by Doug Holmes in the sixth and an RBI groundout by Streich with a runner at third. Tech came back in the bottom half of the seventh and eighth for three more runs to take an 8-5 lead into the final inning.

Voshell and Holmes went 2-for-5 on the game, while Ward went 1-for-3 with two RBIs for the Bobcats.

Two straight base hits to start off the seventh put Stephens and Donaldson on for Guyear, who notched a one-out base hit and advanced to second on an error, scoring Stephens. The Golden Eagles then worked two pitchers, Tyler Backstrom and Jason Moulton, for two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, fueled by hits from Chad Oberacker and Donaldson, to give the Golden Eagles the eventual 8-5 win.

Rivers led the Golden Eagles with a 2-for-4 effort with three RBIs while Donaldson went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in.

Ohio put two men on in the top of the ninth, but junior Cullen Park struck out two and forced a pop-out to the catcher, Burgess, to end the game.

Archer held on to the win for Tech, improving to 2-1 after pitching 6.2 and striking out two, upping the Golden Eagles' record to 4-6. Streich took the loss for Ohio as they fell to 2-7.

The Bobcats evened the series score in game two, holding Tech off for a final score of 5-4 to cap off the double-header.

A strong second inning set the tone for the Bobcats, as the lineup worked Matt Shepherd for four runs on three hits to take a 4-0 lead, which they didn't relinquish for the rest of the game.

Dan Ward notched a one-out, two-shot homer to bring Voshell around after he reached on an error, and Ethan Newton ripped an RBI single to score Painter after his single. The Bobcats notched their fourth run on a wild pitch, which brought O'Neill across the plate.

Tech's Devin Rivers, who went 1-for-3 on the day with two RBIs, answered with a two-shot homer to set the score at 4-2 headed into the top of the third, but Ohio stretched it out to 5-2 with a triple by Tyler Emody to lead off the inning followed by a one-out RBI single by Voshell.

Seven bobcats came together for Ohio's nine hits, led by Ward who went 2-for-4 with three RBI's in game two.

The Golden Eagles threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, notching two more runs on three hits by Evan Frazier, Oberacker and Wulf, who led the Golden Eagles with a 3-for-4 performance on the game and batting in his sole RBI of the day.

Ohio busted the game open in the top of the ninth to take an 8-4 lead, as nearly the entire line-up worked Nick Price, who came in to relieve Shepherd in the eighth, for three runs on two hits. The Bobcats loaded the bases with the first three batters, and a sacrifice fly with one out by Streich and a single by Voshell brought in two runs for Ohio. Ward's RBI single notched the third run of the inning, scoring Emody.

Tech put runners on second and third with two outs as Oberacker singled, Wulf walked, and Stephens reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second, putting Wulf on third. Marck Paliotto relieved Tyler Stage, and walked Donaldson to load the bases, but got Rivers swinging to end the game with a final score of 8-4.

Shepherd fell to 0-2 with the loss, having worked seven innings and striking out nine, while Matt Robin's 4.1 innings and three Ks earned him the win, lifting him to 2-1.

Sunday marks the series finale between the Golden Eagles, now 4-7, and the Bobcats, 3-7, as they will face off in a 1 p.m. contest to cap off the weekend.