COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tech baseball is set to wrap up their regular season of play with a road series at Murray State this weekend. Friday will showcase the doubleheader event, with game one slated for 1 p.m. and game two following immediately. Saturday will feature the finale contest, also at 1 p.m.
The Golden Eagles head into the series riding a four-game win streak, their longest of the season, and coming off of a home sweep of UT Martin that served to clinch the team a spot in post-season play. The sweep put Tech at an 11-10 OVC mark for fourth place in conference standings, and a 23-25 stand overall.
Murray State, meanwhile, sits at 7-12 in the OVC and has a 17-31 mark overall on the season. They are coming off of a game three win over Morehead State this past weekend, but lost the series 1-2 and, prior to the win, had lost six straight.
Tech will throw regulars Tristan Archer and Matt Shepherd in games one and two to kick off the weekend, with the pitcher for game three to still be decided. Archer currently leads the Golden Eagles in innings pitched, having hurled 75.1 en route to a 6-4 record on the season. He's struck out 56 batters on the year, and his six wins and innings pitched statistics both rank fifth in the conference.
Shepherd follows with 68 innings of work, through which he has amassed a 3-5 record with 57 strikeouts. His number of Ks, as well as his opposing batting average of .276, has earned him the number six spot in both OVC categories.
On the offensive end, Tech will look to a quarto of players hitting over .300, including veteran seniors Casanova Donaldson and Chad Oberacker, to lead the line-up. Donaldson currently leads the team with an average of .337 and 31 RBI, while Oberacker's 48 RBI fuels Tech's scoring. Last year, Oberacker batted .462 against the Racers, bringing in six runs over the course of the weekend as the Golden Eagles closed out the 2010 regular season at home with a sweep of the Racers.
Last season's sweep broke the 64-64-1 lifetime series tie in favor of Tech, which now leads by 67 wins to Murray's 64 over the course of program history.
Murray will look to Brandon Elliott with his .381 mark and 19 RBI to perform consistently at the plate, while Jacob Rhodes, Zach Noonan and Travis Isaak will try to continue putting runs on the board for the Racers; they each have logged over 30 RBI so far this season, led by Isaak with 34.
The Racers will put Tyler Beers on the mound in game one; Beers has a 6.43 ERA and has a 3-8 record thus far this season. Having started 13 games for the Racers, Beers has pitched 70.0 innings, striking out 47. Jake Donze will take the hill first in game two, with his 5.88 ERA and 6-5 record on the year. He leads the Racers in innings pitched with 72, and matches Beers with 47 strikeouts. Finally, Luke Shueaker will close out the series, pitching at a 7.01 mark with a 4-5 stand. He's made 10 starts for Murray this season, 14 appearances overall, and has hurled 60.1 innings, striking out 38.
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