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April 14, 2012

Golden Eagles upended by Cougar’s late-game rally

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- Three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings proved to be too much for Tennessee Tech to overcome Saturday as it dropped a 10-6 loss to SIU Edwardsville.

TTU seemed to have things going its way after a trio of chaotic middle innings that saw the Golden Eagles leading the Cougars 6-4. After a scoreless seventh however, the SIUE bats came alive yet again as they poured in three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings.

In the eighth, the Cougars rallied for three runs off TTU relief pitcher Cullen Park, using four hits and a walk to go up 7-6. Mitch Matecki and Devin Caldwell each posted RBI-doubles, while Zach Hawkins drove in the third run of the inning with an RBI-single.

The Cougars continued to pour it on in the ninth as Travis Becherer knocked a three-run shot to right field of Tech reliever Nick Price to extend SIUE's lead to 10-6. The Golden Eagles managed to load the bases in the bottom of the inning but SIUE relief pitcher Dustin Quattrocchi held on for his eighth save of the season.

The first three innings saw little action, as TTU starter Matthew Shepherd and SIUE starter Josh Hoguet looked solid. The only blip on the radar came in the bottom of the second as Zephan Guyear drove in Michael Morris with an RBI-single to give Tech the early 1-0 lead.

TTU and SIUE matched each other with one run a piece in both the fourth and fifth innings, which included a solo-shot from Caldwell in the fifth as Tech held a one-run lead at 3-2.

In the top of the sixth, Matt Highland led off the inning with a solo-shot to right center to knot up the game at three. After hitting the next batter, the Golden Eagles made a call to the bullpen and used three different pitchers to get out of the inning, but not before SIUE took a 4-3 lead on a wild pitch.

Austin Wulf led off the bottom of the sixth as he was hit by a pitch, and was moved over to second after James Abraham's sacrifice bunt. Zach Stephens then singled in Wulf to knot up the score at four, but the Golden Eagles were able to get two more runs behind a two-run single from Michael Morris to take the lead at 6-4.

Brian Lorenz (3-0) earned the win as he threw one shutout inning in relief, while Quattrichi picked up his eighth save of the season as he threw two scoreless innings while striking out three. Hoguet got the no decision as he gave up three runs, two earned, in four innings pitched.

Park (2-5) took the loss as he allowed three runs in 2.2 innings. Shepherd got the no-decision as he surrendered four runs in five innings.

TTU and SIUE wrap up their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m.