By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
MURRAY, Ky. - The power bat of Brandon Thomasson was in full force Saturday as the Tennessee Tech baseball team (34-12, 16-8) split its Ohio Valley Conference road doubleheader at Murray State (18-23, 10-11), thanks in large part to the senior slugger. The split earned the Golden Eagles their seventh league series win of the season.
In game one, Thoroughbred ace Brock Downey held the Tech bats mostly in check, surrendering no runs until Thomasson took advantage of a mistake in the eighth inning. The right fielder hammered a three-run shot to cut the Murray State lead in half. Downey would be lifted in the ninth as Cody Maerz came in for his third save of the game to give Murray a 6-3 victory.
Downey, the league's outdueled Tech starter Chris Chism, tossing eight and one third innings and striking out seven. He walked three and surrendered nine hits and three earned runs. Chism dealt three and two thirds inning, allowing two earned runs and seven hits before being lifted for junior Jeb Scoggins. The right-hander combined with fellow juniors Cain Sloan and Justin Alexander to close out the first contest.
Game two on the day seemed to start in similar fashion as the Thoroughbreds jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Tech quickly ended all thoughts of a repeat, however, blasting Murray State for six runs in the top of the third.
It all started off the bat of redshirt freshman Tyler Brazelton, who lifted the Golden Eagles early with a leadoff solo blast to left field, the first of his young career. The home run tied the game at 1-1 and kicked off a scoring run the Thoroughbreds would never recover from.
With two runners on base and no outs, designated hitter Jordan Hopkins set down a sacrifice bunt to move everyone into scoring position, reaching safely thanks to a throwing error. The miscue allowed Tech to score a run and move two runners into scoring position. A wild pitch allowed another run to cross, putting Tech up 3-1.
Two batters later, Daniel Miles drove in another run, singling to left center field. After a base hit by Thomasson put multiple runner on base, junior Dylan Bosheers wrapped up Tech's scoring efforts for the inning, driving in two runs on a single to right field.
Murray State kept within striking distance, grabbing two runs in the bottom of the third. Thomasson crushed a solo round tripper in the fifth, marking the second home run of the day for the senior and giving Tech a 7-3 lead. The Thoroughbreds answered again with a run of their own in the bottom half.
Their pitching was just no match for Thomasson on the day, however, as the righ fielder struck one more time in the seventh. Senior Zach Stephens started things with a single, scoring four pitches later as Miles doubled to left center field. Thomasson then stepped in to blast his second home run of the game, and third of the day, to propel the Golden Eagles to a 10-5 victory.
Thomasson was the top man for the Tech offense on the day, going a combined 4-for-9 with three home runs, four runs scored, and six RBI. Miles had a big day as well, finishing with five hits in eight at bats. The third baseman scored three runs and drove in two.
Bosheers also tallied five hits on the day, as well as two RBI. Brazelton went 4-for-8 with an RBI and run scored.
The Golden Eagles will have nearly a week off before returning to action, not playing again until Friday, May 2 when they travel to Nashville for a match-up against in-state rival Lipscomb. Tech will play two games on the road before the Bisons return to Cookeville on Sunday, May 4.