By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - In a game that featured its fair share of drama, the Tennessee Tech baseball team (30-10, 12-7) prevailed in come-from-behind fashion Thursday evening, defeating Jacksonville State (21-15, 11-5) in Bush Stadium, 8-7.
Playing the hero on the day for the Golden Eagles was senior Jordan Parris, whose career records for both hits and RBI in a game, propelled the Tech squad over the Gamecocks.
Jax State started the scoring in the contest, grabbing three runs in the top of the third inning thanks to a two-run home run by Griff Gordon and RBI single by Ryan Sebra.
Tech answered in the bottom half, as Parris took a 3-2 pitch deep over the left field wall, crushing his second home run of the season to cut the Gamecock lead to 3-1.
The Golden Eagles really got rolling in the fourth frame, striking four times, primarily thanks to Parris yet again. Shortstop Dylan Bosheers kicked off the inning, drilling a ball deep to left field for his seventh long ball of the year to trim down the Jacksonville State lead to 3-2.
Center fielder Jake Rowland and left fielder David Allen each singled over the next two at bats, bringing Parris back to the dish with runners on first and second and no outs. The catcher worked a full count after falling behind 0-2 early in the bat. After fouling off a 3-2 offering, Parris launched his second bomb of the contest to left field, driving in three runs and propelling Tech to a 5-3 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Golden Eagles extended their lead, using singles by Bosheers and Parris to set up senior Zach Zarzour for a two-out RBI single to third base. The run pushed the Tech advantage up to 6-3 as both sides headed to the top of the sixth.
Jacksonville State took its turn to rally, scoring three times in the top of the sixth off an RBI ground out by Joe McGuire and a two-run single by Michael Bishop. The Gamecocks then took the lead back in the seventh frame, thanks to an sacrifice fly by Stephen Bartlett.
Bosheers would get the Tech squad going for another comeback to start the seventh, reaching on a chopper to third base and advancing to second on a throwing error. A quick out for the Gamecocks brought pinch hitter Tyler Brazelton to the plate. The redshirt freshman drew a walk to put two men on and bring up Parris for another chance to wreak havoc on the Jacksonville State pitching.
He delivere, lacing an RBI double down the left field line to tie the game at 7-7 with just one out. Zarzour followed by driving in the go-ahead run off an infield single to propel Tech to an 8-7 lead.
Quick work from both bullpens in the eighth inning brought Golden Eagle closer Seth Lucio to the hill for the save attempt and the junior right-hander delivered. Lucio fanned all three batters he saw in the frame, collecting his ninth save of the season while giving the Tech squad its 30th victory of the year.
Reliever Cain Sloan collected his second victory of the year, tossing two innings of relief while allowing no hits and no runs.
Parris finished the day 4-for-4 at the dish, driving in five runs and accounting for two himself. Bosheers scored three runs in the contest while grabbing three hits in four trips to the plate. Zarzour drove in two runs on three hits and Rowland added two hits and run scored as well.
The second game of the series will take place Friday at 6 p.m. CT as junior Chris Chism will take the hill for the Golden Eagles.