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Three home runs launch Tech past Central Michigan, 7-4

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- In a game where Mother Nature was a factor, the Tennessee Tech baseball team was able to weather the storm Saturday as they rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth after two rain delays to secure the 7-4 win over Central Michigan.

Saturday's contest had two stoppages in play as the lightning and rain put a brief stop to the game.

Heading into the bottom of the seventh after the last stoppage, the Golden Eagles trailed 4-3 and were set down in order by CMU relief pitcher Ryan Longstreth, but in the bottom of the eighth Zach Stephens (in photo) and Ben Burgess each notched a two-run shot to give the Golden Eagles the 7-4 win.

Garret Baugh, who entered the game in the top of the eighth, faced just eight batters in the final two innings to improve 1-1 on the season. Longstreth (2-2) took the loss as he gave up four runs in two innings.

Central Michigan managed to get on the scoreboard first as it put up one run in the first and the second innings off TTU starter Matthew Shepherd.

Dylan Bosheers had an answer in the bottom of the third as hit a solo-shot to left field off CMU starter Rick Dodridge to bring Tech back within one at 2-1.

CMU added two more runs in the sixth inning with a two-run shot by Joey Houlihan off Tech relief pitcher David Hess but TTU answered right back with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning as Stephens and Evan Frazier each drove in one run.

Stephens posted a game-high three RBI and now leads Tech with 21 runs batted in. Evan Frazier recorded two hits in the game to bring his batting average up to .303 on the season.

The rubber game of TTU's three-game series is set for Sunday at 12 p.m.