March 26, 2013

Golden Eagles look to extend streak to 12 with contest at SEC foe Tennessee


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The nation's longest winning streak will be put to the test Tuesday night, as the Tennessee Tech baseball team (18-6, 8-1), winners of 11 straight, travel to Knoxville to take on the University of Tennessee (13-10, 3-3).

The Golden Eagles, who are tied with Indiana for the longest current winning streak in Division I baseball, will look to repeat last year's performance over the Vols, a 5-1 victory at Tennessee. Current Golden Eagle closer Seth Lucio led the way last season, tossing a career-best 8.1 innings with 11 strikeouts to down the Vols.

Tech will also be looking to extend the second-best single-season winning streak in program history on Tuesday evening. The team is chasing a 1955 team which started the season 14-0 before finally suffering its first loss. With a win, the Golden Eagles will post the best 25-game start to a season in team history. The 1982 squad started the year 18-6-1 on its way to a 27-20-2 year.

The contest, which will be streamed online for free by the Vols, is set for a 6 p.m. CDT start. Fans can watch the contest by following this link or follow along via live stats here.


SCOUTING THE TENNESSEE VOLS

LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
TENNESSEE

Date

H/A/N

Opponent

Result

Score

March 17

A

Alabama*

L

12-1

March 20

H

Western Carolina

W

10-5

March 22

H

Missouri*

W

4-0

March 23

H

Missouri*

W (10)

5-4

March 24

H

Missouri*

L

14-6

Tennessee comes into the contest 13-10 on the year and looking to avoid last year's loss at the hands of the Golden Eagles. The Vols own an impressive 10-3 record at home this season, losing only to Arizona State and Missouri. They finished last week 3-1, grabbing wins over Western Carolina and Missouri.

Scott Price, Will Maddox, and Pierce Bily rank as the top bats for the Vols this season. Price leads the team in average, batting .370 with 34 hits and 14 RBI. He is slugging .500 in 23 starts.

Maddox, the top base stealer for Tennessee, is hitting .344 with 19 runs scored and 15 RBI. His 33 hits rank second on the team. He has swiped 11 bags for the Vols, being thrown out just twice on the year.

Bily owns a .338 mark on the year, driving in 14 runs and scoring 18 himself. His .450 on-base percentage ranks at the top for the Vols. He has six stolen bases as well.

The pitching staff for Tennessee has been up and down this season, owning a 4.83 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 208.2 innings. The squad has given up 229 hits for 112 earned runs and walked 87 batters. The Vols have managed to put together three shutouts on the season, including a complete game shutout by ace Zack Godley.


CATCHING UP WITH TECH

LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
THE GOLDEN EAGLES

Date

H/A/N

Opponent

Result

Score

March 19

A

Alabama A&M

W

8-6

March 20

H

Berea

W

9-4

March 22

A

UT Martin*

W

3-1

March 23

A

UT Martin*

W

13-8

March 24

A

UT Martin*

W (6)

8-5

Hitting has been a large part of Tech's 11-game winning streak as five starters own batting averages above the .300 mark. Juniors Brandon Thomasson and Zach Stephens have been huge for the Golden Eagles this season. Thomasson ranks first or second in the OVC in several categories this season including slugging percentage (.684), RBI (28), home runs (7), and total bases (65). Stephens also ranks among the league leaders in runs scored (29), RBI (30), home runs (7), and walks (24).

Third baseman Daniel Miles has steadily turned into a force for Tech, batting .312 with 13 RBI and 16 runs scored. He is slugging over .500 this season, one of four Golden Eagle regulars to do so.

Shortstop Dylan Bosheers has continued to impress in his sophomore campaign, racking up 12 extra base hits and 23 RBI. Zach Zarzour has proved to be quite successful in the lead-off role, batting .310 with 23 runs scored and 27 hits.

Perhaps the biggest key to the streak for the Golden Eagles has been the steady improvement of the pitching staff. The Tech pitchers own a team ERA of 4.52 over 211 innings of work. They have struck out 229 batters in that span, while walking just 95.