JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Just when the Tennessee Tech baseball team needed it most, sophomore Jacob Honea delivered, tossing 8.1 innings of shutout ball Sunday afternoon to lead the Golden Eagles to 4-0 win over the Gamecocks.
Honea's gem of a performance helped the Golden Eagles avoid a sweep at the hands of Jacksonville State as well as keep the team in the hunt for an Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship.
The Golden Eagles started game three of the series much of the same way as the previous two, grabbing a early lead behind quality work at the plate. This day was different, however, as the Tech pitching staff shut down the Gamecock offense all day long.
Tech provided the only scoring of the day, collecting four runs in the top of the second inning behind clutch, two-out hitting. Junior slugger Brandon Thomasson led off the inning with a sinlge through the left side. After two quick outs, senior James Abraham delivered with a two-strike single through the right side. A Michael Morris walk loaded the bases for junior Jordan Parris.
With a 2-1 count, Parris drilled a double to left field, driving in two runs to give Tech a 2-0 lead. Zach Zarzour followed, fighting off seven pitches before finally ripping a single through the right side and clearing the bases to provide the Golden Eagles with a 4-0 advantage.
The run support proved to be more than enough as Honea would take over from there. The sophomore was especially effective from the third inning on, retiring 15 straight Gamecock batters. Honea finished the best outing of his Golden Eagle career with six strikeouts over 8.1 innings of work. He scattered six hits while surrendering no walks to help Tech to its fourth shutout of the year.
Sophomore Seth Lucio closed things out, recording the final two outs to give the Golden Eagles their 28th win of the year.
The Golden Eagles will return home Wednesday evening for a 6 p.m. CDT contest against Alabama A&M. Tech beat the Bulldogs 8-6 earlier this season in Huntsville, Ala.