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March 28, 2014

Golden Eagles fall at SIUE in 3-1 pitcher's duel

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - A strong effort on the mound from junior David Hess just wasn't enough Friday night, as the Tennessee Tech baseball team (21-6, 6-4) was dealt its sixth loss of the season at the hands (or in this case arm) of SIU Edwardsville's (10-13, 8-2) Ryan Daniels.

In what was a very quick pitcher's duel (the game last just one hour and 53 minutes), Daniels seemed to receive the good luck on the night as each pitcher put up nearly identical numbers. Both Hess and Daniels allowed five hits and struck out five. Hess walked three batters to Daniels' two and Hess tossed eight innings to Daniels' nine. Daniels finished with a pitch count of 101 while Hess finished with 96 pitches.

The one glaring difference were the earned runs allowed as Hess surrendered three to Daniels' one. Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, those two runs were the difference.

The Cougars were able to take advantage of timely hitting, scoring once in the sixth and twice more in the eighth. Hess cruised through the first five innings of the contest, not allowing a hit until the third batter of the sixth inning.

Tech jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, gathering its lone run of the game off a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Parris. With one out, freshman Anthony El Chibani laced a triple down the right field line, giving Tech an early opportunity. Parris then ladi down a great bunt down the first base side of the field, forcing SIUE to allow the run to score while getting the out at first.

The Golden Eagles held that lead for three innings, not allowing a run until the bottom half of the sixth. The Cougars played their own small ball in the frame, using a leadoff walk followed by a sac bunt to put a runner in scoring position. Denton Reed singled in the run and just like that the game was tied.

SIUE killed a great opportunity for the Golden Eagles in the seventh, forcing Tech into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. The Cougars then found life with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, using a double, an RBI single by Denton Reed, and an RBI double by Chase Green to take the lead for the good.

Despite the loss, senior third baseman Daniel Miles still managed to extend his career-long hitting streak to 13 games, grabbing a double to left field in the top of the sixth.

Tech will look to even the series at one game apiece on Saturday as junior Chris Chism looks to duplicate his performance from last weekend in the 1 p.m. CT contest. Chism tossed a complete-game shutout and one-hitter against UT Martin last Sunday, striking out a career-high 10 batters.