By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - A hot start with the bats seemed destined to lead the Tennessee Tech baseball team to a series evening win over Austin Peay Saturday afternoon, but the Governors (12-19, 5-6) rallied late to hand the Golden Eagles (24-8, 8-6) their first Ohio Valley Conference series loss of the season.
Both teams scored early, fighting to a 6-6 tie by the end of the fifth inning. But the runs stopped for a full two frames, not returning until the top of the eighth when APSU left fielder Ridge Smith hit a go-head, two-run home run just over the left field wall and just inside the foul pole. Fellow Governor P.J. Torres added an insurance run with a solo shot in the ninth.
Senior Daniel Miles put together a solid day early in the game, collecting hits in his first two trips to the plate to finish 2-for-5 on the day. He also scored two runs and drove in a run thanks to his seventh long ball of the season in the third inning. The shot gave Tech a 5-3 advantage after the third, but a three run fourth propelled the Governors into the lead.
Tech did respond an inning later, knotting things up at 6-6 in the fifth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Zach Zarzour. The senior led the Golden Eagles with three RBI, going 1-for-3 at the dish.
The number two was the theme for redshirt sophomore Jake Rowland, who incidently wears the number two. He finished the game 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBI, and two stolen bases. He also drew three walks to finish a the day with a perfect on-base percentage.
Austin Peay's Ryan Quick earned his second win of the season with just over two innings of relief. On the other side, Chris Chism was dealt his first loss of the year, going three and two thirds innings while allowing five earned runs and striking out four.
The Golden Eagles will look to salvage the series with a win on Sunday as Tech hosts the Governors in the series finale at 1 p.m. CT. Junior Austin Tolle will get the nod for the Golden Eagles while Austin Peay's starter remains undetermined.