April 11, 2010

Eight-run eighth, three home runs lift Tech to 12-8 OVC win at SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Three home runs and an eight-run eighth inning helped lift Tennessee Tech to a 12-8 Ohio Valley Conference victory Sunday afternoon at Southeast Missouri.

Chad Hayes blasted a grand slam, his second home run of the year, to drive home the first four runs in the eight. A.J. Kirby-Jones knocked his league-leading 16th homer of the season, a three-run shot, later in the inning as the Golden Eagles erased a 7-3 deficit.

Cassanova Donaldson (pictured above) hit a solo shot in the ninth, his second round-tripper of the series, to finish the scoring for coach Matt Bragga’s squad. Donaldson had three of Tech’s 13 hits as every batter in the Golden Eagle lineup had at least one hit.

Hayes finished with a career-high six RBI in the contest.

Nick Price (1-0) earned his first career win as a Golden Eagle, working five strong innings of relief and allowing two runs on four hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.

Stephen Pryor tossed the final two innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He didn’t walk a hitter and also recorded three strikeouts.

Michael Adamson (1-2), the third of five SEMO pitchers, took the loss.

The Golden Eagles grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second as Hayes blasted a two-run double down the left field line, scoring Donaldson and Burgess.

 

The Redhawks replied with five runs off Tech starter Tristan Archer in the bottom of the second. Louie Haseltine tied the game with a two-run home run, and Ky Burgess followed with a solo home run to put SEMO on top, 3-2. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases, and Jim Klocke provided a two-run double to add to the rally before Archer got out of the inning.

A sacrifice fly by Haseltine in the fifth brought home an unearned run and widened SEMO’s lead to 6-2.

Tech got that run back in the sixth on two walks, an error and a double-play ball that allowed Chad Oberacker to score from third to make it 6-3.

Adamson tripled to lead off the Redhawk seventh and scored on a single by Klocke, his third RBI of the game.

The big inning for Tech started quietly as Kirby-Jones walked. Oberacker singled and Donaldson drew a one-out walk to load the bases. A walk to Frankie Beech brought home the first run and brought in Adamson in relief for the Redhawks.

The first batter he faced was Hayes, who drove a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left field, pushing Tech to an 8-7 lead.

With two out, Austin Wulf and Tate McMillan both singled, and Kirby-Jones launched a 3-1 pitch out of the park to make it 11-7.

Pryor took over the pitching duties and survived an error to open the eighth, a single and a wild pitch that put two runners in scoring position. He got a fly ball to end the inning, and Donaldson’s home run on the first pitch he faced in the ninth made it 12-7.

Adamson doubled to lead off the ninth and Haseltine collected his fourth RBI of the game with a two-out single. Pryor’s third strikeout of the game ended the contest.

It was Tech’s first conference win of the season after opening the year with six consecutive OVC road contests. The Golden Eagles improved to 14-19 overall and 1-5 in the league.

SEMO, which suffered its first home loss of the season, went to 20-11 overall and 7-2 in the league. It snapped a seven-game win streak by the Redhawks.

The Golden Eagles will host Belmont University Tuesday in a 6 p.m. game in Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex.