Golden Eagles, Oberacker look to quiet Belmont Tuesday afternoon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Junior lefthander Chad Oberacker will be on the mound Tuesday afternoon when Tennessee Tech looks to quiet the high-flying Belmont Bruins in a non-conference game at 3 p.m. at Shelby Park.

The Bruins opened the year with a 10-game winning streak, followed by a six-game losing slide. They recovered from that swoon and enter Tuesday's contest with a 13-7 overall record. Tech, meanwhile, enters the contest with a 9-11 overal record after dropping three battles at Memphis over the weekend.

The series between these two rivals has been a tight one -- Tech owns a one-game edge at 29-28. Tuesday's game is the first of two this year between the schools. The Golden Eagles host Belmont on April 13 in the rematch.

Oberacker will be makng his seventh appearance for the Golden Eagles on the mound but his first start of the 2010 season. He has worked 13 1/3 innings in relief and owns an 0-1 record with a 4.72 ERA.

A versatile junior from Erie, Pa., Oberacker is one of the team's top hitters with a .418 batting average. He ranks second on the team with 23 RBI and leads Tech in doubles (10) and triples (2). Last season Oberacker was 2-3 on the hill and hit .354.

He is one of three Golden Eagles currenty batting above the .400 mark and eight Tech hitters topping the .300 mark as Tech comes into the game with a .332 team batting average. Freshman Zephan Guyear, who hit .500 in Tech's four games last week, leads the team with a .447 average.

Junior A.J. Kirby-Jones is second on the team with a .439 average, swingin at a .539 clip last  week. He tops Tech and the OVC with 11 home runs and owns a .592 on-base average and a slugging percentge of 1.076.

Belmont has similar numbers with a .338 team batting average and 10 hitters above the .300 mark. Sophomore Dylan Craig leads the Bruins with a .446 average and ranks second on the squad with 21 RBI. Junior Derek Hamblen is second with a .393 average and team-leading nine doubles. Junior Nate Woods is the team leader in home runs (7) and RBI (33) and has a .386 average to rank fourth on the squad.

Belmont's starting pitcher will be righthander Dalton Bell, a junior from Crossville who has thrown just three previous innings this year. His only appearance was a start in which he posted a 12.00 ERA, allowing a couple home runs.

For fans who can't attend the game in Nashville, Belmont is providing live stats to follow the action. You can also listen to the Belmoth radio broadcast.