COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - While revenge isn't necesarrily what the Tennessee Tech baseball team has in mind for Tuesday's contest at Middle Tennessee, the Golden Eagles (23-9, 12-3) will certainly be looking for a different result following this season's earlier match-up with the Blue Raiders (18-16, 5-7), a 9-7 loss that saw Tech surrender a six-run lead over the final seven innings of the game.
The Feb. 26 loss was especially tough for the Golden Eagle squad, as it marked the second year in a row that the team was unable to hold on to a lead against their in-state rival. It also gave Middle Tennessee its eighth straight win over the Golden Eagles.
Winning is always the number one goal of any team, however, this contest it may mean more than it has at any other point this season. The Golden Eagle senior class has never beaten a Middle Tennessee squad, a fact that each of the nine seniors is well aware of and ready to change.
The two squads have moved in completely different directions since their first meeting this season, with Tech collecting a 14-game winning streak and the Blue Raiders losing more games than they have won over the same span. The Golden Eagles will look to continue its hot play, having won its previous two contests with huge run support and deal Middle Tennessee its third loss in its last five games.
With a 6 p.m. CDT start, junior pitcher Garrett Baugh (3-1) will take on Middle Tennessee's Jordan Cooper (2-2) in Murfreesboro.
SCOUTING THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS
LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
Middle Tennessee is having a solid season, compliling an 18-16 overall record. The Blue Raiders have stumbled a tad to begin their conference season, owning a 5-7 mark in Conference USA play. The team has had a large amount of success at home this year, going 14-7 in Murfreesboro.
The Blue Raider offense has put up good numbers on the year, combining for a .277 average over 34 games. The team has recorded 320 hits, 167 RBI, 180 runs, and 27 stolen bases. Middle Tennessee owns a .403 slugging percentage and .350 on-base percentage, drawing 114 walks while powering up for 19 home runs and 98 extra-base hits.
A look at the top five offensive weapons for the Blue Raiders:
The pitching staff for the Blue Raiders put up very respectable numbers this season, compiling a 4.33 ERA and 10 saves. In 297.1 innings of work, the team has allowed 274 hits, 162 runs, 143 earned runs, and 165 walks. Middle Tennessee has struck out 260 batters while holding its opponents to a .249 average.
A look at this week's likely starter for Middle Tennessee:
CATCHING UP WITH TECH
LAST FIVE GAMES FOR
||Away||East Tennessee State
The Golden Eagles will look to wrap up its five-game road trip with a win, having split the first four games. Tech is off to a torid start this season, accumulating a 23-9 record with a 12-3 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play. The team is coming off a huge 2-1 series win over OVC preseason favorite Austin Peay, outscoring the Govs 22-11 over the last two games.
Ranking as one of the top offenses in the OVC, the Golden Eagles have done a lot to earn that spot. They lead the league in slugging percentage (.458), runs scored (212), RBI (200), home runs (32), sac flies (18), and total bases (491). Tech has a batting average of .288 (2nd OVC), on-base percentage of .396 (3rd), has compilied 309 hits (3rd), smacked 64 doubles (2nd), legged out 11 triples (2nd), drawn 161 walks (3rd), been hit by 41 pitches (T-2nd), and stolen 40 bases (3rd).
A look at the top five offensive weapons for the Golden Eagles:
The Tech pitching staff has been no slouch this season, combining for a 4.32 ERA (2nd OVC) and six saves. The Golden Eagles have thrown 279 innings, striking out a league-high 292 batters. The team's .270 opponent batting average ranks third in the OVC, while the 134 earned runs ranks the third lowest.
A look at this week's likely starter for Tennessee Tech: