Golden Eagles look for sixth straight series with visit from Morehead State


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - League play has finally made its way to Cookeville as the Tennessee Tech baseball team (10-6, 2-1) will host an Ohio Valley Conference opponent for the first time this season, welcoming Morehead State (7-9, 2-1) for a three-game set beginning Friday.

The Golden Eagles have already gotten off to a solid start in league play, defeating Eastern Kentucky in two-of-three contests last weekend. Morehead State, also 2-1 in the OVC, is looking just to get through another road contest, having not played at home yet in the 2013 campaign.

The big question of the series is this: Can the Morehead pitchers do what no one else has been able to do? Silence the Golden Eagle bats?

The answer will be determined beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. CDT at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex. Game two will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. and game three will wrap up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

For those fans who can't make it to the ballpark, the Golden Eagle Sports Network will be streaming Friday and Saturday's contests on the OVC Digital Network. Click here to follow the action.


SCOUTING THE MOREHEAD STATE EAGLES

LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
MOREHEAD STATE
Date H/A/N
Opponent Result Score
March 5
N
Youngstown State
W
3-1
March 5
N Youngstown State
L 10-7
March 8
N Murray State*
L 7-3
March 9
N Murray State*
W 2-1
March 10 N Murray State* W 10-9

The Eagles come into this weekend's OVC match-up tied with Tech at 2-1 in league play. Morehead State hasn't played since March 10 due to weather, but are coming off two wins in a row over Murray State, both walk-off victories.

A trio of hitters, Kane Sweeney, Alan Mocahbee, and Chase Greenwell, have led the Eagle offense this season. Sweeney owns a .373 average, collecting 22 hits and seven RBI in 16 games. Mochabee and Greenwell each have 14 RBI in 2013, tying for the team lead. Mocahbee has 21 hits, including two home runs while Greenwell has posted 19 hits.

Game one will feature Morehead's Blake Smith on the hill. Smith owns a 4.50 ERA over four starts this season. He has pitched 18 innings, allowing nine earned runs while striking out 16.

Noah Smallwood is set for the game two start, having made four already on the year. Smallwood has posted a 3.09 ERA while holding batters to a .200 average. He has struck out 14 while walking five in 23.1 innings.

Sunday's projected starter, Tyler Keele, has made four starts this season, allowing 10 earned runs in 19 innings for a 4.74 ERA. He has nine strikeouts and two wins for Morehead State.


CATCHING UP WITH TECH

LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Date H/A/N
Opponent Result Score
March 8
A
Eastern Kentucky
W
5-1
March 9
A
Eastern Kentucky
L
18-7
March 10 A Eastern Kentucky
W
5-4
March 12 H Northern Kentucky W 13-2
March 13 H Northern Kentucky W 7-1

The Golden Eagles enter the weekend fresh off a two-game sweep of Northern Kentucky, outscoring the Norse 20-3. Tech also owns a three-game winning streak, including four wins in its last five contests. The team will look for its sixth straight series win to start the year.

Designated hitter Brandon Thomasson has been absolutely murdering the ball this season, hammering 15 extra base hits, including five home runs, and driving in 20 runners. His .359 average leads the team and his .781 slugging percentage is tops in the OVC by nearly 200 points.

Zach Stephens has been on a tear as of late, knocking his batting average up over 100 points since the start of last weekend. The junior slugger, who is up to .339, leads the team in runs scored with 18 as well as leading the league in walks with 19. His .506 on-base percentage also ranks tops on the Golden Eagle squad.

On the bump for Tech this weekend is expected to be Tristan Archer on Friday, David Hess on Saturday, and Jacob Honea on Sunday.

Archer, the ace of the staff, has pitched wonderfully in his last three contests, picking up two wins during that span. He has pitched 26.2 innings this season, wracking up a 3.04 ERA to go along with 24 strikeouts.

Hess has struck out 22 batters in 18 innings this season, showing a 1-1 record with a 5.00 ERA. Honea sports a 5.27 ERA, having pitched 13.2 innings with 14 Ks.