May 25, 2013

Golden Eagles' tournament comes to an end with 6-4 loss to Colonels


By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

JACKSON, Tenn. - As the saying goes, all great things must come to an end. That much is true for the Tennessee Tech baseball team as its record-breaking attempt at a tournament title ended Saturday afternoon with a 6-4 loss to Eastern Kentucky at the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference baseball tournament.

The Golden Eagles will now sit and wait for a decision from the NCAA Tournament committee to decide whether or not to grant Tech with an at-large bid to a regional.

Tech looked comortable through the first three innings, outscoring the Colonels 3-0, led by a quick two-run first inning that saw Zach Stephens collect an RBI double to right center field. Stephens scored later on an error by the EKU second baseman.

In the third, Austin Wulf scored his second run of the game, chugging all the way from first base after an RBI double off the wall by Brandon Thomasson.

The Colonels stormed back in the bottom of the fourth, making it a one-run game with two runs.

Clinging to a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh and runners on first and second with no outs, Tech called on sophomore closer Seth Lucio to try and get out of the jam. He quickly forced the Colonels into a double play line out, leaving just one runner on first.

EKU used clutch two-strike hitting to open blow the door wide open, however, scoring four runs in the half inning to take a 6-3 lead.

The Golden Eagles had one more chance in the ninth inning to even things up, loading the bases with just one out and Wulf at the plate. The senior hit a sac fly to center field, scoring one run, before Cody Creamer shut the door on the Tech comeback attempt to send the Colonels to the championship game of the tournament.

Wulf finished just one hit shy of tying the all-time hits record set by Chad Oberacker back in 2010. Sophomore starter Jacob Honea pitched a solid game, throwing six innings while allowing just six hits and two earned runs. He walked four and struck out seven on 109 pitches.

EKU's Shane Grimm tossed a spectacular game, tossing 8.1 innings while allowing just three earned runs and seven hits on 124 pitches. He struck out three while walking just one.

The 2013 Tech squad finishes the season with the most wins in program history, going 40-17 with an OVC-record 24 league wins.

Senior ace Tristan Archer earned OVC All-Tournament honors for his great pitching performance in the Golden Eagles' first contest. Archer threw 8.1 innings while scattering seven hits and allowing just one earned run. With the win, he broke the all-time Tech record for career wins with 23. The righty struck out six batters, giving him a career-high 97 for the season.