By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, Ill. - The Tennessee Tech baseball team (27-10, 10-7) fell short in its comeback bid at Eastern Illinois Saturday afternoon, falling to the Panthers (11-23, 5-9), 6-4, despite racking up nine hits in the contest.
Eastern Illinois kicked off the scoring in the contest, grabbing two runs in the bottom half of the first inning. An RBI double from Demetre Taylor and RBI single from Tyler Schweigert provided the scoring and propelled the Panthers to a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Tech cut the lead in half in the third, collecting its first run of the game off the bat of senior slugger Zach Stephens. The first baseman laced an RBI single to left field on the first pitch he saw, driving in leadoff man Zach Zarzour who had collected a double earlier in the frame.
The Panthers struck again in the fourth, scoring on a suicide squeeze by Dane Sauer. They added three more in the fifth, taking advantage of a couple of Tech miscues for two of them. EIU used RBI from Schweigert and Frankie Perrone to grab a 6-1 lead.
The Golden Eagles mounted a rally attempt over the next four innings, scoring once in the sixth and two more times in the seventh. In the top of the sixth, Tyler Brazelton got in on the fun, driving in the run of the inning.
In the seventh, Tech grabbed two more runs, scoring on a ground out by Daniel Miles and off a wild pitch.
EIU's Troy Barton came in for a the save, closing the Tech comeback over the final two innings.
Stephens and Miles led Tech offensively on the day, each collecting two hits and an RBI while also scoring one run.
Panther starter Jake Johansmeier earned the victory after tossing six and third inning and giving up four runs.
The Golden Eagles will look to take the series against the Panthers on Sunday in the rubber match. Game time is set for 1 p.m. CT.