Morris walk-off, two-run homer lifts Tech to 7-6 victory over Belmont

Michael Morris (photo by Rob Schabert)
Michael Morris (photo by Rob Schabert)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech third baseman Michael Morris played the hero Wednesday in TTU's 7-6 win over Belmont as he knocked a two-run shot to right center for the walk-off win.

Even before the Golden Eagles took their first swings at the plate they were playing catch up, as the Bruins put together a four-run first inning using three doubles and a two-run home run from Phillip Parsley.

Things looked bleak heading into the bottom of the ninth as the Golden Eagles trailed 6-4, as Garrett Franchier took the hill to try and close out the game.

Austin Wulf reached first on an error to open the inning. After James Abraham struck out, Zach Stephens tallied his second hit of the game, an RBI-double, to bring Tech within one at 6-5. Morris then stepped into the batter's box and on a 1-0 count, smashed his third home run of the season to give TTU the 7-6 win.

While the TTU hitters were pulling Tech closer to Belmont, Tech head coach Matt Bragga used a total of six relief pitchers to keep the Bruins off balance through the final eight innings.

Jake McWhirter came on in relief of Price in the second and threw two scoreless innings, while posting three strikeouts. After McWhirter's second scoreless inning, Stephens broke out of his home run slump as he cranked a two-run shot to left to bring Tech within two at 4-2.

At the top of the fourth, Seth Lucio stepped in and set Belmont down in order. In the fifth, Belmont was able to tack on one run with an RBI-single, but Lucio would not allow another run to cross as he finished his two innings of work.

Garret Baugh and Cullen Park combined for a scoreless sixth inning, but the Bruins were able to extend their lead to three at 6-3, with an unearned run in the seventh. Zane Morton, and Josh Bryant were called upon to get the final seven outs for Tech, with Bryant setting down the Bruins in order in the top of the ninth.      

Bryant (1-0) earned the win, while Franchier (1-2) took the loss as he gave up three runs, two earned while recording just one out.

The middle of the batting order did most of the damage for Tech as Stephens, Morris and Burgess combined to go 8-of-14 at the plate, including a pair of home runs, and six RBI. Stephens led the TTU offense with three runs batted in, two of which came off his 15th home run of the season, while Morris followed with two RBI. Morris and Burgess each tallied a team-high three hits as well.

The Golden Eagles (16-20, 6-6 OVC) resume conference play this weekend as they travel to Southeast Missouri for a three-game series. Game one of the series is set for Friday at 6 p.m.