By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A crucial Ohio Valley Conference series is next on the slate for the Tennessee Tech baseball team, as the Golden Eagles (21-5, 6-3) travel north for a three-game set against the SIU Edwardsville Cougars (9-13, 7-2) in a match-up between the second and third place teams in the league.
With start times set for 5 p.m. CT on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Golden Eagles will look to collect their fourth consecutive OVC series victory to start league play. Tech is coming off a two-game sweep of Miami (OH) in a midweek series as well as a series victory over UT Martin last weekend.
The Cougars enter the series after a huge series sweep at Murray State last weekend and a disappointing loss at home to Maryville (Mo.) on Wednesday.
TENNESSEE TECH (21-5) at SIU EDWARDSVILLE (9-13)
Friday, Mar. 28 /
Saturday, Mar. 29 /
Sunday, Mar. 30
Roy E. Lee Field (1,000) – Edwardsville, Ill.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Live Stats: siuecougars.com
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• The Golden Eagles have won five straight against Morehead State, including a three-game sweep of the Eagles last season in Cookeville. Tech scored 27 runs against Morehead last season while allowing just 11 in the three-game set.
• Already the team leader in home runs and RBI, senior Brandon Thomasson took it to the next level Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first Tech player in over 20 years to hit for the cycle. The right fielder leads the OVC in home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage with eight, 33, and .720, respectively.
• The nation's leader in hits heading into play this week, senior Daniel Miles has continued to rake at the dish, batting .500 with four hits in two games against Miami (OH). His league-leading batting average in now up to .449 and he has increased his OVC-best mark of runs scored to 39.
• Already the all-time career leader in Tech history in RBI, Zach Stephens took one step closer to taking home an even more impressive career record, hammering his 50th career long ball on Wednesday. He now sits just one home run away from A.J. Kirby-Jones' record mark. Stephens is also just four RBI away from 200 in his career.
• Coming off the best start of his career, junior starter Chris Chism will move to the Saturday slot in Tech's rotation. The right hander earned OVC Pitcher of the Week and CollegeBaseballInsider.com Louisville Slugger Central Region Pitcher of the Week honors after tossing a one-hitter and complete game shutout Sunday afternoon, striking out a career high 10 batters while walking none.
Here's a look at the pitching match-ups between Tech and SIU Edwardsville:
TENNESSEE TECH'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: David Hess (RHP), JR, 6-1, 205
5-0, 1.43 ERA, 37.2 IP, 42 K, 7 BB
Saturday: Chris Chism (RHP), JR, 6-1, 205
3-0, 3.33 ERA, 24.1 IP, 19 K, 5 BB
Sunday: Austin Tolle (RHP), JR, 6-2, 175
3-0, 4.24 ERA, 23.1 IP, 16 K, 12 BB
SIU EDWARDSVILLE'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: Ryan Daniels (RHP), JR, 6-5, 205
3-0, 2.11 ERA, 38.1 IP, 33 K, 4 BB
Saturday: Evan Martens (RHP), FR, 6-0, 180
2-2, 5.22 ERA, 29.1 IP, 12 K, 7 BB
Sunday: Jake Stauffenberg (RHP), SR, 6-5, 240
1-3, 5.08 ERA, 28.1 IP, 25 K, 6 BB