By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, Ill. – The winning streak counter is officially set at 11 for the Tennessee Tech baseball team after the Golden Eagles (20-5, 10-1) defeated Eastern Illinois (9-16, 1-7) Saturday afternoon at Coaches Stadium, 10-6.
The 11-game streak marks the longest by a Tech squad since the 2013 team tied the program record with 14 straight victories. It also represents the longest active streak in the nation, tied with Michigan who also won on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles received a very strong performance on the mound from junior Marcus Evey, who moved to 3-0 on the season after six innings on the hill. The right-hander held the Panthers to just a single hit and no runs while striking out two.
Veteran reliever Colton Provey earned his second save of the season after completing the final two and one third innings. He allowed just two hits and one earned run.
The Tech offense was first on the scoreboard for the second straight day, plating four runs in the top of the third thanks to a two-run double from center fielder Alex Junior and a two-run triple off the bat of senior Chase Chambers.
An RBI single by junior Nick Osborne and RBI triple from Collin Harris in the sixth extended the lead to 6-0, but the home town Panthers were not about to go down quietly. In the bottom of the seventh, Eastern Illinois struck for five runs, and threatened to take the lead until Provey forced a fly out to left field to end the frame.
Seniors David Garza and Brennon Kaleiwahea immediately responded for the Golden Eagle offense. Garza drew a leadoff walk in the eighth to set up Kaleiwahea for an RBI single up the middle two batters later.
For good measure, the Tech bats kept the attack going in the ninth, using a two-run double down the left field line from junior John Ham and an RBI single through the left side from Garza to provide the damage. EIU put one more run across the board before Provey finished the job to clinch Tech's 11th straight win.
Junior finished 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI out of the leadoff spot while Chambers drove in a pair while slugging a double and a triple. Ham also posted two RBI and two runs scored while walking twice.
The two teams will look to complete the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Fans are encouraged to check social media and the TTUSports.com website for more updates concerning this weekend's schedule.
Photo by Tony Marable