MOREHEAD, Ky. – The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles went scoreless in seven of Saturday's nine innings of play as they walked away on the wrong end of an 11-4 contest, falling to 1-2 on this weekend's series.
After Tech right-hander Nick Price hung two quick outs on the top of the Morehead lineup, power-hitters Taylor Davis and Andrew Deeds combined for two RBI on a single by Davis and a long ball by Deeds in the bottom of the first inning.
They extended the lead to 6-0 with four more runs in the second inning, starting with a leadoff homer by Kellen Begeman. Austin Haney then ripped a single through the left side, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bud Morton. Price then plunked Pugh before being replaced by Cullen Park. A fielding error loaded the bases for Park, who clocked Deeds for the second RBI of the inning. Michael Fear ripped the third hit of the inning to score Davis and Pugh before Park could get out of the inning on a ground-out to Travis Redmon.
Tech put together a three-run inning in the top of the third, kicked off by a single into left center by Michael Morris. Austin Wulf walked to put two on for Casanova Donaldson, who's RBI-double into left field served to score Morris.
With runners on second and third and a score of 6-1, Noah Smallwood hit Chad Oberacker to load the bases for clean-up hitter Zach Stephens. Stephens hit into a double play, but scored Wulf and moved Donaldson to third. Ben Burgess rounded out the scoring with a two-out RBI-double into left center, cutting Morehead's lead to 6-3.
Burgess and Morris both went 2-for-4 in game three, while Burgess also notched one of Tech's four total RBI.
The Golden Eagles were only able to work the Morehead bullpen for five more hits over the remainder of the game though, and did not put another run up until the top of the ninth inning. Meanwhile, the Eagles saw another single-run inning in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of a solo-shot by Begeman, upping the score to 7-3.
Insurance came in the bottom of the eighth frame as the Eagle lineup worked Park and his reliever, Oberacker, for four runs on four hits, kicked off by one-out, back-to-back-to-back singles by Morton, Daniel Pugh and Nick Duff. Duff's hit – his only on the day, brought in one run and left runners on first and second with Oberacker taking the hill in relief.
A walk to Davis set Deeds up for a bases-loaded triple into center field to post an 11-3 lead for Morehead before Oberacker retired Fear and got Redmon on a ground-out to the shortstop.
Deeds led Morehead handily with a 2-for-4, six RBI showing at the plate. Begeman went 2-for-3 with two RBI while Fear also notched two runs batted in with his 2-for-5 effort.
Tevis Sherfield, pinch hitting in the ninth for Rivers, led off in the top of the ninth reaching on a fielding error, moved to second on a base-hit by Wulf and to third on a fly-out by Donaldson. Oberacker then stepped up with his only hit of the game, a single into right field, to cut the lead to its final 11-4.
While Park struck out eight batters in 5.2 innings of work, Price was tagged with the loss for Tech, falling to 3-3 as the Golden Eagles dropped to 17-21 on the season.
Smallwood got his first win of the year for Morehead, striking out four in five innings pitched as the Eagles posted a new 7-30 record on the season.
Tech will return to Cookeville to host the University of Tennessee on Wednesday in their second night game of the season, set to start at 6 p.m.