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May 3, 2009

Tech can't overcome early deficits at Murray State, drops pair of three-run games

Murray, Ky. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team fell behind in both games of a double header against Ohio Valley Conference opponent Murray State, as it dropped a pair of three-run games, 10-7 and 4-1 to the Thoroughbreds.

In the first game, four runs in the first and second innings spotted the ‘Breds get an 8-0 lead. The Golden Eagles got a run back in the third, and two each in the fifth, seventh and ninth, but it wasn’t enough, as MSU took the 10-7 victory.

Freshman Ben Burgess hit a two-run single in the fifth inning, and Sophomore A.J. Kirby-Jones hit a two-run single in the seventh and a two-run double in the ninth inning. Kirby-Jones finished 2-for-4 in the game with four RBIs, as Burgess went 1-for-5 with a two RBIs.

Casanova Donaldson went 3-for-4 from the dish, and scored three runs, and freshman Chad Hayes went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Chason Choate pitched 6.2 innings in relief, and allowed only six hits, giving up two runs and fanning three MSU batters in the effort.

In the second game, MSU broke a 0-0 tie in the fourth inning with two runs, and added two more in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead. Tech would get on the board with a solo home run from Kirby-Jones in the top of the seventh, but Thoroughbred pitcher Daniel Calhoun retired Tech’s next three batters in order to earn his OVC-leading 10th win of the season.

Lee Henry pitched his fourth consecutive complete game for the Golden Eagles, striking out five batters in six innings, while allowing just three earned runs on five hits.

Kirby-Jones was the only Golden Eagle to hit safely in both games, as he finished 5-for-7 on the day with five RBIs.

The two teams will play the third and final game of the series at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Golden Eagles (22-20, 7-11) return to Cookeville for their final OVC series of the season May 9-10 against Jacksonville State. Tech entered the weekend a half game ahead of idle Eastern Kentucky in the sixth spot in the conference standings, the final spot for the six-team OVC tournament.