By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team was dealt a crushing loss Friday evening, falling to the Belmont Bruins, 2-1, in walk-off fashion in Nashville.
Starting pitchers Evan Fraliex of Tech and Austin Coley of Belmont dueled through five scoreless innings before the first damage was dealt. Belmont struck first, using a leadoff walk by Matt Beaty and subsequent single by Jamie Ritchie to set the Bruins up for the first score.
After a quick pop up for the first out of the frame, William Dodd doubled to left field, driving in the first run of the contest to give Belmont a 1-0 lead. That was all the Bruins would muster in the inning, however, as Tech head coach Matt Bragga turned to junior Chris Chism to escape the inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Golden Eagle offense responded with some small ball. Freshman Anthony El Chibani led off the frame with single to center field, advancing to second after an error by the Bruins. Catcher Jordan Parris followed, laying down a sacrifice bunt to send El Chibani to third with just one out.
Senior second baseman Zach Zarzour produced the clutch hit, doubling to center field to drive El Chibani in to tie the game a 1-1. The score would stay that way deep into the bottom of the ninth.
After working a scoreless seventh and eighth, Chism took the hill for the ninth, making quick work of the first two batters with a strikeout and one-pitch groundout to third base. The contest seemed destined for extra innings.
Belmont's Tyler Walsh had other ideas, however, as the shortstop launched a solo shot to left field to give the Bruins a much-needed 2-1 victory, keeping their OVC tournament hopes alive.
The Golden Eagles will look to salvage the series with a game three victory Saturday afternoon. First pitch in the regular season finale is set for 2 p.m. CT.