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April 6, 2010

Golden Eagles face Lipscomb Tuesday on road, Wednesday at home

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech baseball team will be in Nashville Tuesday evening, then return home Wednesday as the Golden Eagles face a home-and-home series with Lipscomb University. First pitch for each game is at 6 p.m.

Tuesday night's contest will be played at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville. Wednesday's contest will be played at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex on the TTU campus.

The two teams have not met in the past two seasons. The last time they tangled, Lispcomb won 9-6 in Nashville and 4-1 in Cookeville during the 2007 season. Lipscomb also won twice in 2005 and the second game in 2004, giving the Bisons a five-game win streak over Tech. The last time the Golden Eagles claimed a win in the rivalry was a 9-8 victory on March 17, 2004, in Bush Stadium.

The Golden Eagles will send Chason Choate to the mound Tuesday to face the Bisons in the first game. Choate, a junior left-hander from Murfreesboro, Tenn., owns a 1-2 record this season with a 10.69 ERA as he makes his ninth appearance and second start.

On Wednesday, sophomore right-hander Matthew Shepherd will get the call looking for his first decision of the season. He owns a 10.88 ERA and will be making his 10th appearance and fifth start of the year.

Lipscomb will counter with freshman left-hander Blake Fonfara Tuesday. It will be his fifth appearance and second start. He is 0-0 with a 12.86 earned run average. The Bisons will send senior right-hander Matt Bowling to the mound Wednesday for his 10th appearance and second start. He is 0-3 with a 17.00 ERA.

Lee Wilson leads Lispcomb offensive with a .389 batting average, one of four regulars toppimg the .300 mark. Tyler Wilson is hitting .352, followed by Ryan Wilkins at .314 and Cory Hale at .309. Tyler Wilson is a threat on the bases, with 20 stolen bases in 24 tries. M.L. Williams has 12 stolen bases in 15 atempts and Lee Wilson hasn't been caught in eight attempts.

Zach Messer is the team's RBI leader with 32 while hitting at a .275 pace. Wilkins is second (25) and Hale is third (24) on the team in runs driven home, and the pair is tied for the team lead with five home runs apiece.

The Golden Eagle lineup features six everyday players above the .300 mark, led by junior Chad Oberacker with a lofty .434 average. He is second on the team with 31 RBI and leads Tech with 14 doubles and nine stolen bases.

A.J. Kirby-Jones is hitting .392 with 14 home runs and 11 doubles, and leads the team with 42 RBI and 33 walks. Also above the .300 mark are Zephan Guyear (.338), Chad Hayes (.336), Tate McMIllan (.326) and Seth Edwards (.320).

Austin Wulf, who has played in 19 games, is hitting .406.

Lipscomb enters the game after winning three games over the weekend against Illinois State, the first three-game win streak of the year for the Bisons (10-18). Tech (11-17) is looking to snap a six-game losing streak that includes three OVC games at Jacksonville State over the weekend.