Illinois downs Tech in season opener despite 11 TTU hits


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Despite chilly and wet weather, there was a great atmosphere for the Tennessee Tech baseball team on Opening Day Friday, as more than 400 fans gathered to see the Golden Eagles kick off the 2013 season against the Fighting Illini of Illinois.

The Illini took the first of a three-game series, 13-2, collecting 16 hits in their season-opening victory. A senior pitcher and starter for Illinois, Kevin Johnson threw six strong innings, surrendering nine hits and one run while striking out six and walking one. The bullpen for the Illini played very well, allowing just two hits and one run over the final three innings.

Left fielder Jordan Parr led Illinois with three RBI on three hits in six trips to the plate. He also scored two runs.

Tech put together 11 hits in the contest, with four Golden Eagles securing two hits apiece. Dylan Bosheers, a sophomore shortstop, recorded both RBI for TTU in the contest, hitting a single in the fourth inning and roping a double into left field.

Lead-off man Zach Zarzour (in photo) grabbed hits in his first two at-bats of the afternoon. The second baseman finished with two hits on the day. Seniors James Abraham and Michael Morris each collected two hits for the Golden Eagles, as well.

Senior ace Tristan Archer took the loss for the Golden Eagles, giving up four earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched. He finished with two strikeouts.

Nick Price, a senior right hander, pitched 3.1 innings in relief for Tech, giving up just four hits and striking out four batters.

The Golden Eagles and Fighting Illini will square off again Saturday afternoon in game No. 2 of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. CST at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex.