By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – In the middle of a six-game road stretch, the Tennessee Tech baseball team will continue to grind the gears as the team prepares for a tough Ohio Valley Conference road test at Murray State beginning Friday afternoon.
A three-game series running from Friday, Apr. 25 through Sunday, Apr. 27, the Golden Eagles head into the match-up looking for similar results as last season. Tech swept the Thoroughbreds in Cookeville last season, taking the final two contests in extra innings. The Golden Eagles have won seven in a row against Murray State, dating back to the 2011 season.
Both teams enter the contest coming off a midweek loss. Tech fell to No. 17 Kentucky in a all-out offensive battle Tuesday evening, 15-13. Murray State dropped a 6-3 decision at Evansville Tuesday night.
Tech swept its past OVC opponent, dismissing Jacksonville State in a three-game set last weekend to move into second place in the league standings. The Thoroughbreds played a non-conference series at Ohio State last weekend, losing two of three to the Big Ten foe.
TENNESSEE TECH (32-11, 14-7) at MURRAY STATE (17-21, 9-9)
Friday, Apr. 25 /
Saturday, Apr. 26 /
Sunday, Apr. 27
Reagan Field (800) – Murray, Ky.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• Junior Dylan Bosheers has been on an absolute tear over his past five games, batting .550 with 10 runs scored, nine RBI, four home runs and a double. He has also walked three times in that span, contributing to a .560 on base percentage. The shortstop is slugging 1.200 and has not made an error in the field while helping Tech to a 4-1 record.
• There been no hotter Golden Eagle bat over the past 11 games than that of senior slugger Zach Stephens. The first baseman is hitting at a .408 clip with 10 extra base hits, including six home runs, over that span. Tech is 8-3 and Stephens has arguably the biggest reason for that mark, recording 18 RBI while slugging .857 and scoring 13 runs. The senior now ranks third in the NCAA in home runs on the year with 13.
• After dropping his batting average under .400 for the first time in over a month, it didn't take long for senior Daniel Miles to kick it right back above that mark. The third baseman raised his average to .406 with a dominant 4-for-5 performance at the dish against No. 17 Kentucky Tuesday evening. Miles clubbed two home runs – one of three Tech players to do so as the Golden Eagles finished with seven in the contest to tie a program record – against the Wildcats, driving in three runs and scoring three as well.
• Known more for his work behind the plate rather than in the batter's box, senior Jordan Parris has been a true diamond in the rough for the Tech squad over the past five games. The backstop is batting .421 with an impressive eight RBI during that stretch, torching three home runs and three doubles for a slugging percentage of 1.053.
TENNESSEE TECH'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: David Hess (RHP), JR, 6-1, 205
6-2, 3.11 ERA, 63.2 IP, 59 K, 17 BB
Saturday: Chris Chism (RHP), JR, 6-1, 205
4-1, 4.93 ERA, 42.0 IP, 33 K, 12 BB
Sunday: Evan Fraliex (RHP), FR, 6-2, 220
3-0, 3.64 ERA, 42.0 IP, 28 K, 15 BB
MURRAY STATE'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: Cameron Finch (RHP), SR, 5-11, 174
3-5, 5.52 ERA, 60.1 IP, 38 K, 19 BB
Saturday: Brock Downey (LHP), JR, 6-0, 181
7-1, 1.89 ERA, 76.0 IP, 53 K, 18 BB