By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Timely hitting and clutch pitching propelled the Tennessee Tech baseball team to another road victory Tuesday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles (24-6) defeated the Bulldogs (10-19) of Alabama A&M, 5-2, in Huntsville.
Tech took a quick lead in the top of the first, using a leadoff single by Zach Zarzour to set up Brandon Thomasson later in the inning. The senior slugger drilled an RBI single, putting the Golden Eagles up 1-0.
The Bulldogs rallied two innings later, taking advantage of a rare hiccup on the day by Golden Eagle starter Jacob Honea. Alabama A&M started with a single followed by a sac bunt to move the runner into scoring position. Back-to-back doubles propelled the Bulldogs to a 2-1 lead headed to the fourth.
The Golden Eagles didn't stay down for long, using Zarzour's ability to get on base to again set up the scoring. Part of a 1-for-2 day that saw the second baseman reach base four times, Zarzour was hit by a pitch to start the fifth, setting up the Tech squad once again.
A sac bunt put him in scoring position and a walk of slugger Zach Stephens set up the Golden Eagles with runners on first and second and one out. The Bulldogs looked to get out of the threat, forcing Thomasson to send a ground ball to third base. The A&M infielder stepped on third, grabbing a force out of Zarzour before sending a wild throw to first base. The error allowed Thomasson to reach safely and both he and Stephens to advance a base.
With runners on second and third, Dylan Bosheers stepped to the plate and delivered even on a day that saw the shortstop strikeout four times. Bosheers crushed a double, driving in both runners and giving the Golden Eagles the lead for good, 3-2.
Tech added insurance runs with a wild pitch in the sixth and an RBI double by Stephens in the ninth to increase the lead to 5-2 before bringing closer Seth Lucio in for the save attempt. The junior converted for his seventh of the year, striking out one while forcing the Bulldogs into a game-ending double play.
Thomasson led all batters on the day, going 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Honea upped his record to 3-1, tossing six innings while surrendering just three hits and two earned runs. He struck out five in the contest while walking one. Cain Sloan and Ross Spurgeon handled the middle relief innings, combining for two innings of work and just one hit allowed while striking out two.
The Golden Eagles will return to Cookeville for the first time in over a week Friday evening, hosting both Ohio Valley Conference and in-state rival Austin Peay in a big three-game weekend series beginning at 6 p.m. CT.