March 8, 2009

Rockets prevent sweep, top Golden Eagles 11-7 in finale

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A pair of three-run homers ended the Tennessee Tech’s hopes of sweeping a four-game series against Toledo on Sunday, as the Rockets topped Tech 11-7 in Bush Stadium.

The first shot came in the first inning when Josh Colliver gave Toledo a 3-0 advantage, a lead that grew 6-0 before Tech began its comeback. Then in the ninth inning, after Tech had tied the game at 7, Jake Oester followed up Jared Hoying’s RBI sac fly with a three-run bomb of his own, sealing the four-run win for the Rockets.

Tech’s comeback began in the bottom of the third inning, when sophomore Chad Oberacker, who also got the start on the mound for Tech, helped his own cause by leading off the inning with a double. Sophomore A.J. Kirby-Jones was the next man up, and scored Oberacker on and RBI signle. Kirby-Jones later scored on a sacrifice fly from senior catcher Cory Wright, making the score 6-2.

A couple of Rocket miscues helped Tech add a run in the fourth inning, as senior Alex Henry walked, then reached second on an error, and later scored on a throwing error, cutting the Toledo lead to 6-3.

An RBI double from Joe Corfman gave Toledo a 7-3 lead in the top of the sixth, before Tech added a pair of runs on senior Evan Webb’s two-RBI double in the bottom half of the inning. A.J. Kirby-Jones then hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, tying the game at 7, before Toledo’s four-run ninth ensured the win.

Oberacker pitched five innings, allowing six runs, while striking out four. Chad Hayes came in to pitch the sixth inning, and allowed one run, before Ryan Dennick retired six out of the seven batters he faced in the seventh and eight innings. Lee Henry came in to pitch the ninth inning for Tech, and got the loss, falling to 2-1 on the season. Matt Zahel (1-0) got the win for Toledo.

From the plate, Oberacker went 4-for-4 and scored three runs, while Kirby-Jones was 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. Colliver, Corfman and Tim Krofcheck each had a pair of hits for the Rockets.

The Golden Eagles took the first three games in the four-game series, and are now 8-3 on the year. With the win, Toledo improves to 3-5.

Tech will be back in action on Wednesday for a single game against Belmont in Bush Stadium. Belmont dropped two out of three games to Toledo last weekend.