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March 12, 2014

Tech baseball grabs win No. 15 with victory over Mountaineers

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Not even harsh weather conditions could keep the Tennessee Tech baseball team from its 15th win of the season Wednesday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles rallied in the seventh inning to defeat the Berea Mountaineers, 6-2.

Facing gusts of wind up to 30 miles per hour and heavy sleet at times during the game, the Golden Eagles dug deep in a quick pit stop in Cookeville, grabbing another victory before hitting the road again this weekend for a three-game set at Morehead State.

Freshman Kyle Keatts notched his first career start against the Mountaineers, tossing a predetermined four innings while surrendering just three hits and one earned run.

Reliever Stanton Taylor picked up his first win of the season after hurling a scoreless seventh inning. The senior allowed just one hit, effectively shutting down the rest of the batters he faced.

A huge day at the plate by Jake Rowland propelled the Golden Eagles to their come-from-behind victory. The center fielder finished 3-for-4 at the dish, driving in a game-high three runs and collecting a walk. He also went 3-for-5 in Tech's game Tuesday afternoon.

Rowland's most important contribution to the day came in the bottom of the seventh inning. Despite scratching across a run in sixth, the Tech squad entered the inning trailing, 2-1, with the door closing fast. The redshirt sophomore took all the pressure off the Golden Eagle offense, drilling a line drive over the right field fence, despite the heavy wind blowing straight into his face, to give his team the lead for good.

Slugger Zach Stephens ripped a single to center field on the next pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Daniel Miles drew a walk to set up Brandon Thomasson for a chance at extending the Tech lead. And he did just that, driving a single up the middle to bring in Stephens to give Tech a 4-2 lead. Mile would score later in the inning on a Mountaineer error to build the lead to 5-2.

Tech grabbed a run in the bottom of the eighth to grab a final score of 6-2, using a triple from second baseman Zach Zarzour and RBI single by Jake Rowland to grab the score.

Seth Lucio shut down the final three batters of the game, striking out the side to give Tech its 15th win of the year and move its record to 11-1 at home this season.

Reliever Ross Spurgeon had another spectacular outing, striking out four batters for all four of his outs, allowing just two hits.

Miles finished the day an impressive 3-for-3 at the plate, scoring two runs. Thomasson and Zarzour both grabbed multi-hit days as well, combining for two runs and an RBI.

The Golden Eagles will now hit the road for a three-game set against Ohio Valley Conference foe Morehead State. Tech will start things off with a 2 p.m. CT start on Friday at Allen Field in Morehead, Ky.