COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The longest active winning streak in Division I baseball came to an end Saturday afternoon as the Tennessee Tech baseball team, winners of 14 straight, lost the back end of a doubleheader against OVC foe SIU Edwardsville.
The Golden Eagles won the first game of the day, taking an 11-3 decision that saw Tech rally from a 2-0 deficit and extend the winning streak to 14 games. With the win, the squad tied the school's single-season winning streak record set by the 1955 team. The win also improved the Golden Eagles' record to 21-6 and conference record to 10-1, both program-best marks.
Tech nearly made it 15 in a row, rallying from a 4-1 deficit in game two, a seven inning contest, to tie things at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning. SIU Edwardsville would have none of it, however, scoring two more runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead, an advantage the team would not relinquish.
The first game of the day was as complete for the Tech batters as could be as each player who took an bat for the Golden Eagles recorded a hit. Eight of the nine players also recorded at least one RBI, providing an overall team effort to give reliever Stanton Taylor his second win of the season.
The fifth inning was where Tech started the damage. With the score tied 3-3 since the bottom of the fourth, catcher Jordan Parris started an inning that would not end until he came up for a second time. The junior singled to center field to start things off.
Lead-off man Zach Zarzour followed suit, singling to right field. In an attempt to get the base runners in scoring position, center fielder Austin Wulf laid down a bunt. He placed it so perfectly, he was able to beat it to first and load the bases for junior slugger Zach Stephens. Stephens continued the hot streak, ripping a single to left field that drove in two runs.
Brandon Thomasson singled on the very next pitch, roping one to left field to load the bases for third baseman Daniel Miles. The hero from the first game of the series came through again, earning a free base after being hit by a pitch. James Abraham drove in a run on a fielder's choice in the next at bat and Dylan Bosheers hit a sac fly to drive in the fifth run of the inning. After a Michael Morris single, Parris finally ended the inning, grouding out to first base.
Even with a 8-3 lead, the Golden Eagles weren't done. The squad scored three more runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach. Thomasson drilled a two-run double to lef center field and Miles drove him in with a double of his own.
The Cougars would not be denied a win in the series, pulling out clutch hitting in the second game of the doubleheader.
Both Travis Becherer and Devin Caldwell grabbed two RBI each in the second contest with Becherer getting the game-winning run with a double down the left field line. Tony Schaeffer
Down 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Golden Eagles began a rally that looked sure to provide a spark to keep the streak alive. With Wulf on second and Stephens on first, Miles came up huge for Tech, driving a double down the left field line and cutting the lead to just one.
In the bottom of the fifth, Thomasson came up big, tying the game with an RBI sinlge to center field. SIU Edwardsville collected two runs in the top of the sixth to seal the deal, however, giving Tech closer Seth Lucio his first loss of the season.
On the day, Thomasson and Miles led the way for the Golden Eagle offense. Thomasson grabbed five hits in eight at-bats, slugging 1.000 with a double and triple. He drove in three runners while scoring three times himself and walked once to a tune of a .667 on-base percentage. Miles collected two hits on the day, driving in a team-high five runners. He unloaded two doubles on the day.
Tech will hit the road for a five-game road trip beginning Tuesday with a trip to East Tennessee State. The contest is set for a 6:05 p.m. CDT start.