COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - A three-run Morehead State lead proved to be no match for the hot bats of the Tennessee Tech baseball team Saturday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles used three home runs and 17 total hits to down the visiting Eagles, 11-5.
The win marks the sixth straight series win for the Golden Eagles (12-6, 4-1) this season and also improved their Ohio Valley Conference record to 4-1. The victory is the fifth in a row for the Tech squad, who scored 11 runs for the second straight contest.
Duran Elmore and Kane Sweeney led the way for Morehead State (7-11, 2-3), recording three hits each. Elmore also drove in two runs for the Eagles, homering in the third inning and grounding out to second for an RBI in the sixth.
The Golden Eagles stepped out to the lead first, grabbing a run in the second inning off a sacrifice fly by catcher Jordan Parris for a 1-0 lead. Morehead quickly changed that score, scoring four runs in the top of third to grab a 4-1 advantage.
Tech managed to recoup a run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead in half, scoring off a solo shot down the left field line by third baseman Daniel Miles, the junior's third of the season.
The Eagle pitching staff worked hard in the fourth and fifth innings, limiting the Golden Eagles to just one run. Miles, who led off the fifth with a double, later scored on a wild pitch after being moved over to third on a James Abraham single. The lead was cut to one with Morehead leading, 4-3.
An unearned run in the top of the sixth seemed to give Morehead State a little insurance and momentum, providing the Eagles with a 5-3 lead.
And then the Golden Eagle bats awoke. To open the bottom of the sixth, lead-off man Zach Zarzour singled off the pitcher's leg. A quick fly out by Austin Wulf looked to diminish Tech's chances, but Zach Stephens followed up the out getting hit by a pitch.
With men on first and second, Morehead State decided to make a pitching change, bringing in Morgan Cirbo to face junior clean-up hitter Brandon Thomasson. After watching a ball and strike pass by, Thomasson pounced, hammering his longest home run of the season, a three-run shot, well over the left-center field wall to give the Golden Eagles a 6-5 lead.
RBIs by Dylan Bosheers and and Michael Morris finished off the big inning for Tech, as the team took an 8-5 lead to the seventh inning. In the seventh, Stephens blasted a two-run dinger to right-center field. It marked the fourth of the year for the junior slugger, as well as his second consecutive game with a home run.
A triple by Miles and sac fly to drive him in by Bosheers finished the scoring for the game as the Golden Eagles closed out the final two innings to gain the 11-5 victory.
Nick Price came into the contest in relief to start the fourth inning, setting down the Eagle batters without surrendering any earned runs through 3.1 innings of work. The senior picked up his third win of the season, just three days after earning his second against Northern Kentucky on Wednesday.
The Tech pitching staff recorded nine strikeouts in the contest while allowing just four earned runs.
Thomasson extended his impressive hitting streak to 10 games with his 3-run blast. Miles finished the contest just a single shy of the cylce, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. Bosheers also finished 3-for-4, driving in two runners while scoring twice.
The series between the two teams will conclude Sunday in a 1 p.m. CDT contest at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex. Sophomore Jacob Honea is expected to take the hill and will look to out-pitch Morehead's Tyler Keele to give the Golden Eagles their first series sweep in league play. While Sunday's game will not be streamed on the OVC Digital network, fans unable to make the game can follow the live stats here.