By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
MURRAY, Ky. - One of the nation's top offenses wasn't needed Friday afternoon, as the Tennessee Tech baseball team (33-11, 15-7) used dominant pitching to take the first of a three-game, Ohio Valley Conference series from Murray State, defeating the Thoroughbreds (17-22, 9-10), 5-1.
Junior ace David Hess was on point in the Tech victory, tossing seven complete innings while allowing just one earned run and two walks. After surrendering two hits and the one run in the first inning, the right-hander locked down on the Murray bats, scattering four hits the rest of the way while tying a season-high with 10 strikeouts.
Hess struck out the side in both the first and third innings, forcing all six outs via a swinging effort by a Thoroughbred batter. On the day, he forced seven swinging strikeouts as well as three looking while garnering his seventh victory of the season.
Senior reliever Stanton Taylor took over right where Hess left off, continuing to shut down the Murray State offense with a dominating performance. Taylor fanned four batters, three of which were unable to pull the trigger.
Tech tied the game in the top of the second frame, using an RBI single up the middle from redshirt sophomore center fielder Jake Rowland to nod things up at 1-1.
The Golden Eagles then took the lead for good in the fourth, starting with a leadoff single by shortstop Dylan Bosheers. Senior catcher Jordan Parris drove in the go ahead run later in the frame, smacking a sacrifice fly to left field to propel Tech to a 2-1 advantage.
The top of the sixth provided the Tech team with some insurance runs, as the Golden Eagles took advantage of a Thoroughbred miscue to strike three times. After two quick outs, outfielder Tyler Brazelton laced a single to center field before being lifted for pinch runner David Allen. Parris reached on a fielder's choice on the next play, but Allen reached third base safely after a throwing error by Murray State.
Leadoff man Zach Zarzour followed the error with a six-pitch walk, working back from an 0-2 count to load the bases. Allen scored on a wild pitch before junior Jordan Hopkins drove in Parris and Zarzour with a two-run single through the right side.
Zarzour and Brazelton led Tech offensively, both recording multi-hit games. Brazelton finished 2-for-2 with a walk while Zarzour was 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Hopkins led the Golden Eagles with two RBI.
Murray State pitcher Cameron Finch was dealt his sixth loss the year, allowing two earned runs in five and two thirds innings of work. He walked four batters and struck out six while surrendering eight hits and five total runs.
Tech will look to collect another OVC series as junior Chris Chism takes on the league's leading ERA man in Brock Downey in a 2 p.m. CT match-up Saturday afternoon.