By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Just three days after a record-setting offensive performance, the Tennessee Tech baseball team was back at it again Tuesday afternoon, exploding with the bats again on its way to a huge victory over in-state rival Lipscomb.
On Saturday, Tech went nuts at the plate, erupting for a 30-17 victory behind a program-record 11 home runs and new school standard of 27 hits. On Tuesday, the Golden Eagles (5-2) rewrote the record books again, connecting for 29 hits in a 27-7 win over the Bisons (3-5).
The bottom two spots in the order provided over half of the offensive production on the day, with sophomore Cody Littlejohn enjoying a breakout performance. The second baseman finished 4-for-6 with eight RBI, falling just one shy of the Tech single-game record. He also scored four runs while tallying three doubles and a grand slam.
Also enjoying a career-day at the dish, catcher Brennon Kaleiwahea drove in seven runs while scoring three times. The senior backstop tallied four hits in six at bats, including his first long ball of the year.
There was a little family reunion in the ballpark, as senior Chase Chambers squared off against his younger brother, Lipscomb freshman outfielder Chandler Chambers, for the first time in his career. The Golden Eagle first baseman was nearly perfect on the day, tallying five hits in six at bats for two RBI and four runs scored. He also finished just a triple shy of the cycle.
Senior third baseman Trevor Putzig drove in four more runs on two hits after taking home both Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Week honors on Monday. Sophomore designated hitter Anthony Carrera joined Chambers in just missing out on hitting for the cycle, falling just a round tripper short.
Subbing in at third base as a pinch hitter later in the contest, redshirt freshman Hunter Higdon had a day to remember. After doubling in his first plate appearance, he followed it up by smashing his first career long ball to right field.
On the hill, junior Alex Hursey garnered the victory, his first in the purple and gold. Out of the bullpen, redshirt freshman Tyler Sylvester turned in a solid showing, gathering all four outs he recorded via the strikeout. Sophomore Seth Noel followed by flinging a perfect seventh frame.
The game seemed to be like any other early, with the Golden Eagles scoring a single run in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Trevor Putzig.
Things quickly changed in the second, however, as 14 batters took to the plate for the home team. Tech plated 11 runs in the frame, highlighted by Littlejohn's four-run circus clout off a fresh Lipscomb reliever.
Tech plated five runs in the fifth and eighth innings as part of the offensive explosion. In fact, the only inning the Golden Eagles didn't dent home plate, the seventh, the team still managed an extra base hit.
Already ranked second nationally in scoring heading into the day, all signs point to the Golden Eagle baseball team heading into its next contest leading the nation in run production. Tech will make its first road appearance of the year on Wednesday, heading west for a match-up at in-state rival Middle Tennessee at 3 p.m. CT. Fans are encouraged to check social media and the TTUSports.com website for updates concerning this week's schedule.
Photo by Tony Marable