By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A quick pitstop at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex has come to a close for the Tennessee Tech baseball team, as the Golden Eagles will hit the road once again for a three-game battle with Ohio Valley Conference foe Morehead State beginning Friday afternoon.
With a first pitch set for 2 p.m. CT, the Golden Eagles will look to keep its hot start to the season going. Tech enters the weekend at 15-3 overall with 2-1 mark in conference play after taking last weekend's series against Eastern Kentucky.
As for Morehead State, the Eagles enter with a little momentum on their side, having won each of their last two games, including a Monday afternoon league game over Murray State to avoid the sweep. Morehead sits at 7-8 overall with a 1-2 mark in league play and will look to enjoy some home games for a change, having played just four at Allen Field all season.
TENNESSEE TECH (15-3) at MOREHEAD STATE (7-8)
Friday, Mar. 14 /
Saturday, Mar. 15 /
Sunday, Mar. 16
Allen Field (1,000) – Morehead, Ky.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• The Golden Eagles have won five straight against Morehead State, including a three-game sweep of the Eagles last season in Cookeville. Tech scored 27 runs against Morehead last season while allowing just 11 in the three-game set.
• Center fielder Jake Rowland has been scorching hot over the past four games, batting a team-high .500 over that span. In his last four contests the redshirt sophomore has driven in seven runs while slugging .667 and recording an on-base percentage of .526. He put an exclamation point on his hot streak with a go-ahead, two-run shot against Berea in the seventh inning on Wednesday.
• Even with his 14-game hitting streak coming to an end Wednesday, junior Dylan Bosheers still leads the Golden Eagles with an impressive .400 batting average this season. The shortstop also leads Tech with eight doubles while slugging .586 and driving in 15 runners.
• There's just something about conference play that seems to bring out the best in Zach Stephens. Despite struggling early this season, the senior slugger ranks second on the Tech squad in batting average in OVC contests, averaging .385 while leading the Golden Eagles with three home runs, eight RBI, four runs scored and a slugging percentage of 1.077.
• Senior Brandon Thomasson has been a monster at the plate for the Golden Eagles, crushing five home runs, two triples, and seven doubles while leading the team with a .735 slugging percentage and league-best 23 RBI. He has also scored 17 runs.
• Fresh off his first career weekend start, freshman Evan Fraliex will look to duplicate that performance. The righy tossed eight shutout innings to garner his first career win, holding Eastern Kentucky to just four hits in a 4-0 blanking of the Colonels.
Here's a look at the pitching match-ups between Tech and Morehead State:
TENNESSEE TECH'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: David Hess (RHP), JR, 6-1, 205
3-0, 1.44 ERA, 25.0 IP, 26 K, 4 BB
Saturday: Evan Fraliex (RHP), FR, 6-2, 220
1-0, 2.57 ERA, 21.0 IP, 12 K, 7 BB
Sunday: Chris Chism (RHP), JR, 6-1, 205
2-0, 3.75 ERA, 12.0 IP, 7 K, 3 BB
MOREHEAD STATE'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: Luke Humphreys (RHP), FR, 5-10, 183
0-0, 10.57 ERA, 7.2 IP, 8 K, 11 BB
Saturday: Matt Anderson (RHP), SO, 6-2, 184
0-3, 5.73 ERA, 22.0 IP, 24 K, 7 BB
Sunday: Luke Schneider (LHP), JR, 6-7, 220
0-1, 6.23 ERA, 17.1 IP, 10 K, 10 BB