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April 9, 2011

Walk-off win gives Tech sweep in Saturday OVC twinbill with SEMO

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- After recording a hefty 9-5 win in game one of Saturday's double-header event, the Golden Eagles battled to a 5-4 win in the bottom of the seventh inning of the nightcap game, getting the walk-off win on an error forced by Evan Frazier.

The entirety of the second game boiled down to a 4-4 tie-game, bases loaded scenario in the bottom of the seventh inning the culminated in a hard-hit ground ball by Evan Frazier at the glove of SEMO second baseman Taylor Heon. Heon juggled the ball and was unable to make the easy out at first, allowing pinch-runner Zach Flynn to score and clinch the 5-4 walk-off for the Golden Eagles.

Frazier went 1-for-4 with two RBI in game two, 2-for-8 with three RBI on the day for Tech.

SEMO put up a three-run sixth inning to force the tie ballgame and need for the bottom of the seventh frame, as they worked starter Matt Shepherd for two runs on two hits, an error and a stolen base to cut Tech's 4-1 lead to a 4-3 lead. Blake Slattery led off reaching first on an error by Tech's Michael Morris at second, and Kenton Parmley followed with a double into left field to put runners in scoring position. Michael Adamson ripped his second hit of the day for the first RBI of the inning, scoring Slattery, and as he notched his sixth steal of the season, Parmley scored on the throw down to cut the lead to one.

Shepherd then walked Trenton Moses before Cullen Park made his second appearance of the day in relief. Park surrendering a single to Casey Jones, which served to score Adamson and tie the game at four-all.

Shae Simmons, who pitched the final two innings of the game for SEMO, held Tech scoreless in their half of the sixth, but couldn't hang on through the bottom of the seventh. With the heart of the Golden Eagle order up, Simmons gave up a lead-off single to Ben Burgess and a walk to Oberacker with no outs. Zac Flynn took second to pinch run for Burgess, while Trice Powers pinch hit for Zach Stephens and laid down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt with two strikes on him to move both runners into scoring position.

The Redhawks gave five-spot hitter Casanova Donaldson the intentional walk to load the bases and set up a potential double play, but Heon couldn't field Frazier's grounder cleanly, and the error yielded Tech's fifth run and gave the Golden Eagles the walk-off win.

Simmons shouldered the loss for SEMO, falling to 0-4 on the season in two innings pitched and logging two Ks. Park, meanwhile, took his first win of the year, improving to 1-1  in 1.1 innings of work.

Burgess' 2-for-3 performance at the plate led Tech in hitting for game two, while Parmley's 3-for-4 with two runs scored fueled the Redhawks in the nightcap.

Game one saw the first lead go to SEMO, when a two-out walk to Adamson followed by a base-hit to right field by Brett Russell put runners on the corners for the Redhawks. Trenton Moses ripped a double into left field to score both runners and give SEMO the 2-0 lead headed into the bottom of the first.

Tech started their climb back into the game with a single-run third frame, when Chad Hayes and Morris both notched base hits and advanced into scoring position on a passed ball. Austin Wulf's fly-out then worked to bring Hayes home, cutting the lead to one at 2-1 to SEMO.

The Redhawks would not score again until the sixth inning, while Tech would take the lead in the bottom of the fourth and extend it in the fifth, putting two runs on the board in each inning.

Oberacker led off in the bottom of the fourth with a walk and advanced to third on a double by Zach Stephens. With both men on in position to score, Donaldson notched an RBI groundout to tie the score at two-all. Frazier stepped in and punched a blooper in between the SEMO's starter on the mound Jordan Dicus, the second baseman Heon and Moses on first. With no one covering the bag, Frazier reached safely and scored Stephens from third, giving Tech the 3-2 lead.

Oberacker saw another at bat in the fifth, and this time did some damage with the bat. After Wulf, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI on the game, lined a base-hit up the middle, Chad launched his seventh homer of the season for two of his three RBI in game one.

SEMO's Russell answered with a solo-shot of his own in the top of the sixth to begin to chip away at the lead, but Tech responded with a three-run bottom half, starting with a single by Donaldson. Cass stole second and moved to third on Devin Rivers' base hit to put runners on the corners for Tech, finally scoring on Chad Hayes' single through the left side.

A pitching change for the Redhawks pitted nine-hole hitter Morris against SEMO southpaw Ryan Pickett, who surrendered a single to Morris to load the bases for Wulf. A base hit by Wulf scored Rivers, while a lineout to right field was enough to bring Hayes across the plate to put Tech up 8-3 headed into the top of the seventh.

Tim Rupp and the rest of the Redhawks threatened in the seventh, with Rupp's single followed by Parmley's third homer of the season pulling SEMO to within three. But Park, in his first appearance of the day, did not allow another runner on in the eighth or ninth inning. The Golden Eagles put up one more run on two hits by Morris and Burgess and a fielder's choice play favoring Oberacker to make the score its final 9-5.

Morris led Tech with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, raising his batting average by 112 points from a .188 to a .300 following game one, and doubling his hits on the season. Five other Golden Eagles had multi-hit performances to contribute to Tech's 16 total hits to SEMO's eight. Oberacker's 1-for-4 effort yielded three RBI for the Golden Eagles to lead Tech in scoring.

Russell went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for the Redhawks, while Parmley and Moses each contributed two RBI to SEMO's cause.

Dicus shouldered the loss on the game, falling to 2-2 on the season after allowing eight runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings of work and failing to strikeout any of the Tech line-up. Archer got the win for the Golden Eagles, improving to 4-3 on the year and notching four Ks in seven innings pitched.

Tech, now 13-16 overall and 3-2 in conference play, will look to complete the series sweep over SEMO, now 16-14, 3-4 in the conference, on Sunday at 1 p.m.