By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
Tennessee Tech Baseball Weekend Preview (5/2)
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team makes its way north for a weekend series against Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Kentucky, kicking off the three-game set with a Friday tilt at 5:00 p.m. CT in Richmond, Ky.
First pitch of game two of the series is set for a 3:00 p.m. start on Saturday while Sunday's series finale will commence at 12:00 p.m. Games one and two of the series will be broadcast on ESPN+. There will be no broadcast of Sunday's game three.
With inclement weather a possibility in the area throughout the weekend, fans are encouraged to check social media and the TTUSports.com website for updates concerning this weekend's schedule.
All-American outfielder Kevin Strohschein has spent the majority of his senior campaign rewriting the Tech and OVC record books and made a major dent in that quest with one swing last Tuesday. In the first inning of Tech's contest at No. 13 NC State, the senior slugger blasted a two-run shot to left field. The home run broke both the OVC's career marks for hits (331) and RBI (230). Now the Golden Eagles' all-time leader in hits, doubles, RBI, runs scored and total bases, as well as the OVC leader in hits, RBI and total bases, the center fielder is still within spitting distance of multiple other OVC marks.
|Current||OVC Record||Current Leader||School (Years)|
|Doubles||67||68||Clayton Daniel||Jacksonville State (2015-18)|
|Home Runs||58||62||Zach Stephens||Tennessee Tech (2011-14)|
|Runs||226||241||Bert Smith||Jacksonville State (2006-10)|
|At Bats||960||975||Clayton Daniel||Jacksonville State (2015-18)|
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
Strohschein ranks as one of the most accomplished hitters, not just in Tech or OVC history, but among all current NCAA Division I players. The McDonough, Ga. native leads all active players in career home runs (58), RBI (235) and total bases (601). He also ranks in the top-five in hits (second with 340), runs (second with 228), at bats (third with 960), and doubles (fourth with 67).
HE'S GOT THE POWER
Sophomore Jason Hinchman has enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first starting role with the purple and gold, leading the OVC in home runs with an eye-popping 19 in 42 games. That's 43.2 percent of his 44 hits leaving the ball park. It's also good enough to rank the first baseman third nationally in long balls, trailing Tulane's Kody Hoese and Vanderbilt's JJ Bleday by just two for a share of the lead. What's more astonishing, is the fact that Hinchman did not have a long ball through the team's first 10 games of the season. He has 19 round trippers in his last 33 games.
His next bomb will make him just the fourth player in program history to join the 20-home run club for a single season. Former Tech legend A.J. Kirby-Jones accomplished the feat twice, smacking 20 exactly in 2009 and setting the school record with 26 in 2010. The first member of the exclusive group was Jeremy Bonczynski, who smashed 20 long balls in 1997. The club's most recent addition was All-American Brandon Thomasson, who clubbed 22 in 2014.
Freshman John Dyer has raised many eyebrows in his rookie campaign, ranking as one of the best hitters in the Tech lineup, as well as the league. The Mt. Juliet native leads all OVC freshmen in batting average (.351), doubles (11), home runs (eight), RBI (45) and slugging percentage (.601).
HOME RUN U
The nation's reigning home run champ after smashing an OVC-record 135 dingers a year ago, it took the Golden Eagles a little time to get the bats rolling to start the 2019 campaign. The power is back on it Cookeville, however, as Tech enters the week having smashed a long ball in 18 of its past 19 contests. Over that span, the Golden Eagles have clubbed 44 dingers, with 12 games boasting multiple shots. On Sunday, Tech snapped a 17-game streak with at least one home run, easily ranking as a program record. In fact, the 2019 squad is the first in school history to hit double figures with the streak. Last year's record-shattering squad did it nine times in-a-row twice. On the year, Tech leads the OVC with 69 round trippers and ranks fourth nationally.
TENNESSEE TECH (18-25, 6-15) at EASTERN KENTUCKY (24-21, 10-11)
Friday, May 3, 5:00 pm | Richmond, Ky. | Earle Combs Stadium | STATS | VIDEO
Saturday, May 4, 3:00 pm | Richmond, Ky. | Earle Combs Stadium | STATS
Sunday, May 5, 12:00 pm | Richmond, Ky. | Earle Combs Stadium | STATS
TENNESSEE TECH GOLDEN EAGLES
2019 Record: 18-25
2019 OVC Record: 6-15 (11th)
Head Coach: Justin Holmes
TTU: 18-25 (1st Season)
AVG: Kevin Strohschein (.364)
2B: Kevin Strohschein (16)
3B: Kevin Strohschein (2)
HR: Jason Hinchman (19)
RBI: Jason Hinchman (48)
R: Kevin Strohschein (47)
BB: Jason Hinchman (33)
SB: Jason Hogan (4)
ERA: Jacob Cole (4.60)
W: 6 players tied (2)
APP: Daniel Holley (18)
IP: Mark Leonard (47.0)
K: Mark Leonard (48)
SV: Jacob Cole / Tyler Sylvester (2)
EASTERN KENTUCKY COLONELS
2019 Record: 24-21
2019 OVC: 10-11 (6th)
Head Coach: Edwin Thompson
EKU: 102-115 (4th Season)
Career: 139-148 (5th Season)
AVG: Nick Howie (.345)
2B: Ryland Kerr (12)
3B: Ryland Kerr (3)
HR: Will Johnson (12)
RBI: Will Johnson (40)
R: Ryland Kerr (50)
BB: Will Johnson (44)
SB: Will Johnson (23)
ERA: Kaven Brown (3.06)
W: Kaven Brown (8)
APP: Aaron Ochsenbein (23)
IP: Kaven Brown (61.2)
K: Aaron Ochsenbein (63)
SV: Aaron Ochsenbein (7)
Photo by Tony Marable