Top offenses collide as Golden Eagles hit the road to take on No. 17 Kentucky
By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The final midweek contest of the year for the Tennessee Tech baseball team will prove to be a tough one, as two of the nation's most potent offenses collide when the Golden Eagles kick off a six-game road swing with a match-up at No. 17 Kentucky Tuesday evening in Lexington.
With a 5:30 p.m. CT start, the contest will be broadcast live on the radio on 106.1 FM The Eagle. Dylan Vazzano of the Golden Eagles Sports Network will be on call for the game with Mike Lehman offering color commentary.
The Golden Eagles enter the contest fresh off a three-game sweep of Jacksonville State, a series win that propelled Tech into second place in the Ohio Valley Conference standings. The Tech squad is now on a five-game winning streak, the longest for the Golden Eagles since a 10-game streak was ended earlier this season at then-No. 8 Vanderbilt.
Kentucky fell to Texas A&M in its final game of the weekend, losing 14-2 and being denied the sweep over the Aggies after claiming the first two contests in the series.
The game will pit two of the top scoring teams in college baseball, as Tech leads the nation in runs (355) and walks (239), ranking sixth in average (.316), fourth in doubles (90), third in hits (471), homers (48), second in scoring (8.5 runs per game) and third in slugging (.485). The Wildcats rank fourth in runs scored (333), seventh in homers (71), ninth in hits (437), eighth in on base percentage (.406), seventh in slugging (.451) and fourth in scoring (8.3 runs per game).
It's been two years since these two teams last squared off, as the Wildcats pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Lexington on Mar. 6, 2012. Kentucky scored six runs in the seventh inning to complete a rally from a three-run deficit, ultimately winning the contest, 10-6. Three current Golden Eagles participated in the contest, including senior Zach Stephens and juniors Dylan Bosheers and Seth Lucio.
TENNESSEE TECH (32-10) at #17 KENTUCKY (26-14)
Tuesday, Apr. 22
Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000) – Lexington, Ky.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• A huge week at the dish helped junior Dylan Bosheers nab adidas® OVC Co-Player of the Week honors Monday, as the shortstop raised his batting average 20 points to .373 after helping Tech sweep Jacksonville State and defeat Alabama A&M in a midweek contest. Bosheers batted .533 with eight runs scored, eight hits, two home runs, and six RBI to grab the honors while also slugging 1.000 and garnering three walks for a .550 on base percentage.
• Catcher Jordan Parris enjoyed a career weekend against the Gamecocks this past week, batting .429 with seven RBI and two home runs. The senior propelled Tech to an 8-7 come-from-behind victory on Thursday with the best performance of his career, smacking two long balls and double on a 4-for-4 day at the dish while also driving in five runs.
• Senior Brandon Thomasson kept his power numbers going last week, clubbing his team- and league-leading 12th homer of the year against Jacksonville State. On the season, he has team-high marks in slugging (.661), RBI (48), doubles (13), and triples (4) to go along with the highest mark for home runs.
• Mauling non-conference pitchers has been a habit of leadoff man Zach Zarzour this season, as the senior is batting an intense .440 in 20 games outside of the OVC. In that span the second baseman has a team-high 33 hits and .538 slugging percentage while scoring 19 runs, driving in 15 more, and stealing four bases.
• A very strong showing over the weekend may just seal a starting role in left field for junior David Allen, who has split time with two other Golden Eagles this season. The outfielder batted a mean .583 against the Gamecocks, driving in four runs on seven hits and scoring three runs as well.
TENNESSEE TECH'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER
Tuesday: Jacob Honea (RHP), JR, 6-0, 183
3-2, 4.71 ERA, 28.2 IP, 20 K, 13 BB