COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Brandon Thomasson hit two home runs and David Hess struck out eight batters in six strong innings as the Tennessee Tech baseball team cruised to a 9-0 victory over the Niagara Purple Eagles Saturday afternoon.
After three and half innings, it seemed as if fans were destined to see their second-straight pitcher's duel, as the teams recorded just two hits each and combined for nine early strike outs.
Thomasson changed all of that in the bottom of the fourth, smacking a solo shot to left center field to get the Golden Eagles on the board.
Tech followed up that kick-start from the junior's bat, putting up a five-run fifth inning. Three of those runs came courtesy of Thomasson, as the designated hitter launched his second homer of the game (and third of the season) deep over the left field wall.
The inning didn't start out so great as Tech immediatley recorded two outs and looked on its way to a third when the Niagara shortstop bobbled a Zach Zarzour shot. Zarzour reached on an error and began an onslaught by the Golden Eagle offense.
Center fielder Austin Wulf, who finished four-for-five, collected a single and Zach Stephens drove in Zarzour with a double. Thomasson then entered the contest and socked his three-run dinger, giving him a perfect three-for-three day.
With a new pitcher on the hill for the Purple Eagles, left fielder James Abraham immediately drew a four-pitch walk. The senior followed the walk with a theft of second base. Sophomore Dylan Bosheers cranked a fly-ball double down the right field line to drive in Abraham and rack up the fifth run of the inning.
The Golden Eagles added runs in the seventh and eighth inning off the bats of Thomasson, Zarzour, and junior Tevis Sherfield.
A sophomore right-hander, Hess pitched a gem for the Golden Eagles, striking out a season-high eight batters in six innings. He allowed just five hits, shutting down the Purple Eagle bats whenever they looked close to a scoring chance.
A trio of seniors and a junior combined with Hess to shut out Niagara. Nick Price, Zane Morton, and Josh Bryant combined to down Niagara in the seventh and eighth innings while local Cookeville product Ross Spurgeon wrapped up the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Golden Eagles and Purple Eagles will meet for the final game of the series Sunday at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for noon as sophomore Jacob Honea will look for his first win in a Tech uniform over Niagara's Anthony Caringi.