By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It's a match-up for the ages Tuesday evening as two in-state, 20-win teams will face off when the Tennessee Tech baseball team (25-8) hosts the No. 21 Tennessee Volunteers (21-9) in a 6 p.m. CT contest at Bush Stadium.
The Golden Eagles enter the contest with maybe a little bit of a chip on their shoulders after losing their first weekend series of the year. Tech lost the first two games in a three-game set against Austin Peay, but ultimately salvaged the third game with a 16-9 romp on Sunday.
As for the Volunteers, they enter with huge momentum on their side, having taken two games in a three-game set against top five ranked Vanderbilt last weekend. Tennessee also shut out the Commodores for the first time since 1993 on Sunday.
TENNESSEE TECH (25-8) vs. NO. 21 TENNESSEE (21-9)
Tuesday, Apr. 8
Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex (1,100) – Cookeville, Tenn.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Webcast: Golden Eagle Sports Network on the OVC Digital Network (Dylan Vazzano)
Live Stats: ttusports.com
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• Senior Daniel Miles continues to dominate offensively for the Golden Eagles, leading the Ohio Valley Conference in slugging percentage (.700), on base percentage (.535), and runs scored (46). He ranks second in the nation in hits (57), just one back of Morehead State's Brandon Rawe.
• Tech slugger Brandon Thomasson continued to rack up RBI over the weekend, bringing his team-leading total to 39. That mark, as well as his nine home runs, tie him for the league lead and makes him one of the most feared bats in the league.
• History was made Sunday afternoon as senior Zach Stephens tied the Tech all-time career record for home runs, smashing his 51st against Austin Peay. The first baseman also became the first Golden Eagle to record 50 career home runs and 200 career RBI, raking in his 201st on the long ball. He also sits just four hits shy of breaking the all-time hits record at Tech.
• Center fielder Jake Rowland has been on a tear over the past 16 games, batting .429 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 11 walks. He also has scored 19 runs over that span, second only to Miles.
• Back for his third start of the year Tuesday will be junior Jacob Honea. The right hander owns a 2.45 ERA in his last four appearances, which includes two starts. He is also 2-0 with 11 strikeouts in 11 innings over that span.
Here's a look at the pitching match-ups between Tech and Tennessee:
TENNESSEE TECH'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: Jacob Honea (RHP), JR, 6-0, 183
3-1, 4.43 ERA, 22.1 IP, 18 K, 13 BB
TENNESSEE'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday: Bret Marks (RHP), JR, 6-3, 190
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 3 K, 1 BB