March 22, 2013

Arch Madness: Tech wins ninth straight behind senior ace Archer


MARTIN, Tenn. - For the ninth consecutive contest, the Tennessee Tech baseball team (16-6, 6-1) found itself on top of its opponent, taking down Ohio Valley Conference and in-state foe UT Martin (8-14, 1-6), 3-1, on the road Friday evening.

With a face-off of ace versus ace, senior righty Tristan Archer prevailed over Dan Tobik. The win marked the fourth of the season for Archer, matching his total from the entire 2012 season. Archer's streak of not walking a batter ended after 17.2 innings during the game, although the senior continued to strike out batters at a high rate, dropping seven batters in six innings of work. He gave up just one earned run while scattering seven hits.

Tobik was lights out for the Skyhawks, striking out 12 Golden Eagle batters through six innings. He allowed just three hits and one earned run in his time on the mound. The difference in the contest came down to defensive efficiency, as the Skyhawks comitted two errors that proved costly. Two Tech runners scored in the contest due to errors.

The Golden Eagles jumped on the board first, scoring in the first inning off the bat of junior designated hitter Brandon Thomasson. After Zach Zarzour and Austin Wulf advanced to second and third base, respectively, on a passed ball, Thomasson sent a mammoth fly ball to center field, driving it deep enough to allow Zarzour to tag-up and score the first run of the contest.

Two innings later, Tech was at it again, doubling its lead to 2-0 with a solo home run by Wulf. The long ball was the senior's first of the season and proved to be the eventual winning run.

UT Martin got on the board in the fifth inning, collecting a run on a single by catcher Ben Brewer. The senior collected one hit in the contest.

Tech grabbed an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning, scoring on an error by the Skyhawk shortstop.

Sophomore David Hess was dominant in two innings of relief for the Golden Eagles, striking out five of six batters faced, including a three-up three-down eighth inning that saw all three batters go down swinging.

Seth Lucio grabbed his fourth save of the year, pitching out of a bases loaded jam following a hit, error, and hit batsman. Working with one out, the sophomore dug deep, striking out the final two batters of the contest to give the Golden Eagles their 16th win of the 2013 campaign.

Thomasson kept his hitting streak alive, collecting a hit in the sixth inning to extend his impressive run to 14 consecutive games.

Game two between the in-state rivals is set for Saturday afternoon with a 1:30 p.m. CDT start time. Senior Nick Price will make his first weekend start of the season and face-off against UT Martin's Taylor Cox.