Gritty Golden Eagles still in the hunt for OVC Tournament berth
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tennessee Tech junior Tristan Archer came up with a big-time performance Thursday evening as he had the Ohio Valley Conference leading Austin Peay Governors looking confused all night long in the batter's box, guiding the Golden Eagles to a 5-0 victory.
Archer, along with reliever Cullen Park, combined to hand APSU its first shutout since April 26, 2011. Archer struck out a career-high 13 batters in 8.1 innings to improve to 4-4 on the season.
While Archer was dazzling the Governor hitters, three Golden Eagles provided some power at the plate. Zephan Guyear, Zach Stephens and Ben Burgess each went yard as they drove in four of TTU's five runs.
Archer, and his counterpart Zach Toney, were flawless through the first four innings as they each kept the opposing hitters in check. Archer gave up three hits and a walk while Toney surrendered two hits and a walk to the Golden Eagles.
Guyear got the scoring going in the bottom of the fifth as he homered to center to put Tech up 1-0. Stephens kept the scoring going in the bottom of the sixth, belting his 18th home run of the season, a two-run shot, to give the Golden Eagles the 3-0 lead. Dylan Bosheers added an additional run in the inning off an RBI-double to increase TTU's lead to 4-0. Burgess added the final run in the eighth as he led off the inning with a solo-shot to left center.
While the Tech hitters were finding their groove, the APSU batters were having a tougher go of it. They had no answer for Archer as he eventually struck out all but one of the Austin Peay starters. At one point, Archer stuck out seven of eight batters between the third and fifth innings, which included three strikeouts in the fourth inning.
Toney (5-3), took the loss as he surrendered four runs in 6.2 innings. Mike Hebert, Kacy Kemmer and Chuck Edlin combined to get the final four outs for Austin Peay as they allowed a combined one run on two hits.
With their 5-0 win, the Golden Eagles kept pace with Morehead State and Southeast Missouri, who each won their respective games Thursday, as well. With two games left for all three teams, TTU will have to win one more game than either MSU or SEMO to secure one of the final two spots in the OVC Tournament.
Game two between TTU and APSU is set for Friday at 6 p.m. Admission is free.