JACKSON, Tenn. – Buoyed by Tristan Archer's solid start, the Tennessee Tech baseball squad opened the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Wednesday with a 6-5 victory over Eastern Kentucky.
"The opening game is vital, so it was nice to get off on the right foot," head coach Matt Bragga said. "A big part of any opening game is your starting pitching and our starter Tristan Archer was phenomenal."
In a season that featured the Tech offense on most occasions, it was Archer's solid effort that took center stage as he improved to 7-4 on the season as he kept the Eastern Kentucky offense in check through 7.1 innings, striking out six batters.
"The last few weeks we have been working hard to get good starts from our starting pitchers," Archer said. "I wanted to set the tone for the rest of the week and I feel like I threw as good of a game as I could throw."
Eastern Kentucky may have scored the first pair of runs off a two-run shot to from A.J. Jamison, but it was EKU starter Stephen Heffler who would get chased from the game, as he surrendered four runs, in just 1.2 innings.
After not converting on a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the first, the Golden Eagles responded with a four-run rally in the second, that was capped off by a two-run single off the bat of Ben Burgess to give Tech the 4-2 lead.
Given a two-run lead to work with, Archer cruised through the middle innings, with the lone hiccup coming in the fifth when EKU logged an unearned run to pull within one at 4-3.
With two on and one out in the top of the eighth, Archer was lifted for Tech relief pitcher Cullen Park, who induced a pair of groundouts to end the Colonel threat. With the momentum in their favor, the Golden Eagles added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the frame to extend their lead to 6-3.
The Colonels managed to tag Park with a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, but Park held firm as he earned his fourth save of the season, as Tech took the 6-5 victory.
With their win over EKU, the Golden Eagles will face no. 1 seed Austin Peay Thursday. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m.
The radio broadcast will be on B Rock 93.7 FM. Brandon Goodwin and Grant Swallows will be calling the action.
To listen via Teamline, click on the link here or on TTUsport.com and select baseball. To listen on the telephone, call 800-846-4700 and select team code 0654.
A live webstream of all of the OVC Tournament games will also be available through OVCsports.TV.
To view the livestats click here
To view the webstream click here