By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – It took a little bit longer for the Tennessee Tech baseball team (35-14, 21-5) to get going Saturday evening than it did in game one, but the Golden Eagle offense indeed showed up against Southeast Missouri (22-29, 13-16), scoring nine runs in the fifth innings on its way to an 11-6 Ohio Valley Conference win.
After a rough 16-1 loss in game one, the Redhawks seemed to have solved the Tech lineup early in Saturday's contest, taking a 1-0 advantage heading to the fifth inning. Unfortunately, that was all she wrote for Southeast Missouri as the Golden Eagle offense woke up in a big way, batting through the lineup and more on its way to nine runs.
Tech opened the fifth with five consecutive hits from Dylan Bosheers (single to center), James Abraham (single to right center), Michael Morris (RBI double to right center), Jordan Parris (RBI single to left field), and Zach Zarzour (RBI single up the middle). Austin Wulf kept the scoring going with a sacrifice fly to left field. The Golden Eagles were one out into the inning and not even half way done.
Zach Stephens followed, drilling an RBI double down the left field line. Brandon Thomasson came to the plate next, singling through the left side and advancing to second base on a throwing error by the left fielder. SEMO managed to force the second out of the inning before Bosheers returned to the plate for the second time in the fifth. He was promptly hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Abraham came up again, and delivered for the second time of the inning, lacing a bases-clearing double to left center field to put the game out of reach for good. Morris singled in Abraham for good measure before the Redhawks finally put an end to madness. After 13 batters and nine runs, Tech took a 9-1 lead to the bottom of the fifth.
The Golden Eagles scored twice more in the contest while the Redhawks put up five more runs to make a final score of 11-6 in favor of Tech.
For the second consecutive day, every Tech starter recorded a hit as the team totaled 16 in the contest. Zarzour, Abraham, and Morris led the offense. The three combined for seven RBI and five runs scored. Abraham went a stellar 4-for-5 in the contest while Bosheers went 3-of-4 from the plate. Also driving in runs for the Golden Eagles were Wulf, Stephens, Bosheers, and Parris.
Sophomore David Hess (6-2) pitched nearly 3.2 innings of relief, earning his sixth win of the season while striking out six batters and not allowing a runner to score.
The win was the 35th of the year for the Golden Eagles, tying this year's team with the 1988 and 2008 squads for second most wins in a single season in program history. The victory also marked the 21st OVC win of the year for Tech, extending the school record of league wins in a single season. Tech won its 12th series of the season with the win, a single season program record.
The Golden Eagles will look to keep their one game lead in the race for the top seed in the OVC tournament in tact on Sunday. The 1 p.m. CDT match will fall on the arm of sophomore Jacob Honea (2-1), who will look to lead Tech to its seventh series sweep of the season.