By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOEKVILLE, Tenn. – A second straight high-scoring affair did not fall in favor of the Tennessee Tech baseball team Sunday afternoon, as Illinois State (3-3) defeated the Golden Eagles (4-2) in the series finale, 16-8.
Just a day after Tech exploded offensively for 11 home runs and a 30-17 win, the Golden Eagles looked on their way to another strong day with the sticks early. After starter Nic Dye struck out the side to kick off the game, the home squad plated two runs in support, thanks to single RBI from Chase Chambers and David Garza.
Two innings later, Illinois State settled in, jumping out in front with five runs in the top of the third. The Redbirds followed with two more in the fourth to take a 7-2 advantage. Alex Junior ripped an RBI single up the middle to get a run back and make it a 7-3 game, but ISU wasn't finished.
In the top of the sixth, the Redbirds blew the game open, plating six to take a 13-3 lead. The visitors tacked on three more in the seventh for good measure and a 16-3 advantage that would stand up to a small, late rally by the Golden Eagles.
Tech snagged a run off an RBI groundout by Chambers in the bottom of the seventh, then gathered four more in the eighth. Junior beat out an infield single for an RBI after Brennon Kaleiwahea drove one in on a groundout. Chambers then laced a two-run single through the right side to move Tech's run total to eight.
Chambers led the Golden Eagles on the day, finishing 2-for-5 with four RBI and a double. Junior reached bases all five times he saw the plate, tallying a 2-for-2 day with three runs scored, two RBI, two walks and a hit by pitch.
Tech will head back out to Quillen Field Tuesday afternoon, playing host to in-state rival Lipscomb in a 3:00 p.m. CT match-up.
Photo by Tony Marable