February 22, 2013

Niagara wins pitcher's duel, beats Golden Eagles in extras, 4-2


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Friday afternoon's game turned into a pitcher's duel for the Tennessee Tech baseball team (2-3), as the starters for both the Golden Eagles and Purple Eagles pitched at least eight innings in a 4-2, 10-inning win for Niagara (1-4).

Purple Eagle right hander Kyle Olver made an impressive career debut for Niagara, pitching nine innings with just four hits and two earned runs allowed. The freshman recorded six strikeouts before Jordan Schwartz came in and closed out the game in the tenth inning for the save.

Senior Tech ace Tristan Archer threw eight innings for the Golden Eagles, striking out seven batters and allowing just five baserunners. He gave up only two runs in the contest.

The Purple Eagles grabbed two runs in the top of the 10th inning to take the lead for good and hand Tech reliever Garrett Baugh his first loss of the season. Greg Rodgers drew a leadoff walk, then raced to third when a pickoff attempt went wild. A double by Pavel Chavez-Rusov plated the go-ahead run. Following a sacrifice bunt, the Purple Aces added another run on a sacrifice fly from Kevin Paulsen.

In the top of the third inning, Niagara third baseman Greg Rodgers started off the scoring with a solo home run.

Tech answered three innings later, evening up the score to 1-1 with a Zach Stephens sacrifice fly to center field. Stephens drove in second baseman Zach Zarzour, who tripled earlier in the inning.

Niagara popped out to another one-run lead in the top of the seventh, off the bat of Ryan McCauley. The first baseman hit the Purple Eagles' second solo dinger of the contest.

Once again, the Golden Eagles answered the call, scoring on a wild pitch by Oliver in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore shortstop Dylan Bosheers scored the tying run following a lead-off double and a sac bunt from Michael Morris.

Game No. 2 of the series will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex. On the hill for the Golden Eagles will be sophomore righty David Hess, as he looks for his first win of the season. Niagara will send junior Jim Fort to the hill.

The series concludes Sunday, with the game time moved up to 12 p.m.