COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A.J. Kirby-Jones became the first
Golden Eagle to hit three grand slams in one season since prior to
the 1975 season, and Chad Hayes became the 38th Tech pitcher to
throw a two-hitter, as The Tennessee Tech baseball team cruised to
an 8-0 victory in the second game of a double header with Covenant,
after falling 7-4 in game one.
Chad Oberacker homered in the first inning, Heath Cheverton hit an RBI single in the second, and Evan Webb hit an RBI double in the third, giving Tech a 3-0 lead, before Kirby-Jones blasted a grand slam in the sixth, while Chad Hayes shut down Covenant’s bats, with seven strikeouts and no walks in his complete-game effort.
Not to be overshadowed is second baseman Trice Powers, who hit 3-for-5 on the day with two runs scored and an RBI, on top of some flashy glove work in the field. Ben Burgess, who started on the mound for the Golden Eagles in the first game, had three hits, as did leadoff man Alex Henry.
With hits in both games, Burgess extended his current hit streak to nine games, as Henry upped his current streak to seven games. Casanova Donaldson, who is currently riding a seven-game hit streak, did not play.
Wade Bilbrey made his second appearance of the season on the mound for the Golden Eagles, and pitched three innings in the first game, allowing one earned run, while striking out four batters.
Kirby-Jones’ grand slam was his only hit of the day, and marked his 11th home run this season, which is tied for the most in the OVC. Webb’s double was his team-leading 13th this season, which ties him for fourth in the OVC.
The Golden Eagles (17-13, 4-7) continue their mid-week action with a return game at East Tennessee State on Wednesday. Tech dismantled the Bucs on April 1 in Cookeville, winning 15-7, and owns a 46-39 advantage in the all-time series.
After sweeping Eastern Kentucky in a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series last weekend, Tech continues OVC play with a three-game series at Austin Peay on April 18 and 19.