March 10, 2013

Golden Eagles hold on late for 5-4 win over Eastern Kentucky


RICHMOND, Ky. - Zach Stephens went 3-for-3 and Seth Lucio pitched 5.1 innings in relief for his second win of the season as the Tennessee Tech baseball team (8-6, 2-1) took down the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (4-7, 1-2), 5-4, to win its fourth series of the 2013 season.

Only one EKU batter managed multiple hits in the contest. Kenny Hostrander managed two hits for one RBI. Brent Cobb, who pitched six innings for the Colonels picked up his third loss of the season after giving up four runs, three of which were earned.

Tech received production from all over the lineup as four different players recorded RBI against the Colonels. Lead-off man Zach Zarzour, Stephens, Brandon Thomasson, and Daniel Miles all drove in runs as the four players combined for seven of the Golden Eagles' eight hits in the contest.

Eastern Kentucky started things off on the day, grabbing a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Colonels seemed to still be rolling off the adrenaline from the prior contest when they scored 18 runs. Tech quickly changed the atmosphere of the game, however, as Jacob Honea struck out two straight batters to end another scoring threat in the first.

The Golden Eagles quckly picked up their starting pitcher, nabbing two runs of their own in the top of the second off an RBI single by Miles and fielding error by the Colonels' third baseman.

The team struck again in the fourth inning, using a sacrifice fly by Zarzour and single by Stephens to double Tech's run total and extend the lead to 4-1. The runs turned out to be key as EKU scored twice in the fourth inning as well, cutting the lead to just one run.

Lucio entered the contest in the bottom of the fourth in relief and never looked back. He gave up just two hits and one run over the final 5.1 innings, striking out a season-high five batters.

In the ninth inning with Zarzour on second, Eastern Kentucky decided it had seen enough of Stephens for the day, intentionally walking the slugger, who was 3-for-3 with a walk already at that point, to set up a force at third base. Thomasson did not take kindly to the sentiment, lacing an RBI double down the left field line to give the Golden Eagles the eventual game-winning run.

Lucio pitched himself out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win for the Golden Eagles and improve their OVC record to 2-1 on the young season.

Tech will take a day off before returning home for a two-game series against Northern Kentucky. The first contest will begin Tuesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. CST at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex. Game two is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.