April 18, 2013

Golden Eagles poised for big OVC showdown at Jacksonville State


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Tech baseball team is flying high entering this weekend's Ohio Valley Conference match-up with Jacksonville State, coming off the biggest win in program history after defeating No. 2 Vanderbilt in Nashville Tuesday evening.

Tech won't tread lightly in Jacksonville, however, as it takes one of the league's best. The Gamecocks (20-16, 12-3) currently stand just 1.5 games back of the Golden Eagles (27-10, 15-3) and .033 percentage points as well.

The series is just part of a weekend that could have serious implications on the OVC regular season championship as the top-ranked Belmont Bruins head to fourth place Austin Peay as well. With the top four teams in the league facing off, there is potential for a large amount of movement among the top of the conference.

Pitching for the Golden Eagles in Friday's 6:30 p.m. CDT contest will be senior ace Tristan Archer (6-2). He will face off against Jax State's Casey Antley (4-3). On Saturday, Ross Spurgeon (2-1) will take the hill for Tech, throwing against Gamecock righty Taylor Shields (5-2). Sophomore Jacob Honea (1-1) will close out the weekend, competing against Adam Polk (2-5)

Fans can follow this weekend's game via live stats on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday


SCOUTING THE JACKSONVILLE STATE GAMECOCKS

LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
JACKSONVILLE STATE

Date H/A/N Opponent Result Score
April 9
Away
Troy
L
8-4
April 10
Home
UAB
W
8-2
April 12
Away
Murray State*
W
14-11
April 13
Away
Murray State*
W (15)
7-6
April 14
Away Murray State*
W 10-7

One of the top teams in the OVC, Jax State owns a 20-16 record including a 12-3 mark in league play. The Gamecocks have dropped just five contests at home all season, posting a 10-5 record in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville State boasts a respectable offense, batting .260 in 36 games this season. The team has scored 215 runs, driving in 185 of them. The Gamecocks have recorded 324 hits including 59 doubles, 16 triples, and 18 home runs.

A look at the top seven offensive weapons for the Gamecocks:

Player Avg. Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SLG% OB% SB-SA
Michael Bishop .373 29 47 12 3 2 13 .563 .438 9-12
Griff Gordon .324 29 44 5 3 0 24 .404 .418 4-6
Coty Blanchard .287 37 39 10 4 4 25 .507 .405 11-14
Chase Silvani .282 11 24 5 0 1 10 .376 .322 2-3
Paschal Petrongolo .274 17 23 2 3 4 21 .512 .382 1-1
Eddie Mora-Loera .273 21 35 4 1 1 21 .344 .319 0-1
Andrew Bishop .203 16 27 5 1 1 23 .278 .278 4-4

Pitching has been a relative strength for the Gamecocks this year, as the team owns a 4.58 ERA through 318 innings of work. Jax State has struck out 206 batters, walking 114 while surrendering 366 hits, 210 runs, and 162 earned runs. Their opponents are batting .291.

A look at this weekend's likely starters for Jacksonville State:

Day Player ERA W-L G-GS IP Hits Runs ER BB SO Avg.
FRI Casey Antley 4.50 4-3 10-9 52.0 60 33 26 14 32 .297
SAT Taylor Shields 3.35 5-2 10-10 53.2 53 22 20 12 28 .259
SUN Adam Polk 5.73 2-5 11-9 37.2 49 35 24 20 21 .306

CATCHING UP WITH TECH

LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
THE GOLDEN EAGLES

Date H/A/N Opponent Result Score
April 9 Away Middle Tennessee L 12-9
April 12 Home Eastern Illinois* W 20-5
April 13 Home Eastern Illinois* W 5-2
April 14 Home Eastern Illinois* W 6-5
April 16 Away No. 2 Vanderbilt W 10-9

Just several days off its monumental win over Vanderbilt, Tennessee Tech finds itself with a 27-10 overall record and a 15-3 mark in OVC games heading into a crucial weekend of league play. The Golden Eagles have won their last four games and six of their last seven. The team has yet to drop a series this season, winning the first 10 to begin the year.

Tech has proved it can hit with the best of them, going toe-for-toe with Vanderbilt on Tuesday and ranking among the league's best in nearly ever offensive category. The Golden Eagles have collected 376 hits in 37 games this year, recording an average of .299 (tops in the OVC) and driving in a league-leading 247 runs. Tech has scored 262 runs this season (first) while hammering 35 dingers (first) to help put up a .463 slugging percentage (first) and .405 on-base percentage (second).

A look at the top seven offensive weapons for the Golden Eagles:

Player Avg. Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SLG% OB% SB-SA
Daniel Miles .367 28 44 9 2 7 35 .650 .451 2-2
Brandon Thomasson .329 36 49 13 3 10 42 .658 .416 0-0
Zach Zarzour .317 38 44 8 1 1 14 .410 .419 10-11
Zach Stephens .309 42 43 9 1 8 45 .561 .453 0-0
James Abraham .308 22 41 4 1 0 17 .353 .409 12-14
Dylan Bosheers .304 22 42 14 1 5 32 .529 .371 5-5
Austin Wulf .301 32 44 9 1 1 24 .397 .427 9-11

The pitching staff for the Golden Eagles has been key to a remarkable start this season, owning a 4.65 ERA over 323 innings. With 326 strikeouts, the Tech pitchers rank among the nation's leaders. The team has given up just 149 walks, 196 runs, 167 earned runs, and 348 hits. Opponents are hitting just .277 against Tech pitching this season.

A look at this weekend's likely starters for Tennessee Tech:

Day Player ERA W-L G-GS IP Hits Runs ER BB SO Avg.
FRI Tristan Archer 3.05 6-2 9-9 59.0 59 25 20 13 57 .261
SAT Ross Spurgeon 2.83 2-1 12-3 28.2 28 13 9 6 25 .262
SUN Jacob Honea 6.00 1-1 9-9 36.0 45 29 24 20 42 .306