No. 21 Tennessee hands Golden Eagles home loss in rainy affair
By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Tech baseball team couldn't pull of the upset Tuesday evening as the No. 21 ranked Tennessee Volunteers (22-9) defeated the Golden Eagles (25-9), 10-1, in a contest that saw moderate rainfall early as well as the largest crowd of the season at Bush Stadium.
The final score wasn't truly indicative of how the contest played out, as the Volunteers grabbed five unearned runs in the ninth inning to put any comeback chances for the Golden Eagles out of reach.
Tennessee scored first in the game, grabbing a single run in the top of the first after putting runners on first and third with no outs. Tech forced a double play before the run scored, limiting the damage to just the one run.
The Golden Eagles answered in the bottom half of the inning as senior slugger Brandon Thomasson sliced an RBI double down the left field line to tie things at 1-1.
Six relief pitchers made sure to keep the Tech offense completely at bay the rest of the contest, allowing just two hits the rest of the game while striking out 11 Golden Eagles.
Starter Jacob Honea pitched pretty well in the contest, despite being dealt his second loss of the season. After the run in the first inning, Honea surrendered just two more runs, including only one earned, on a pitch that just missed his spot and was turned over for a two-run home run. Honea tossed four innings with two strikeouts while allowing just five hits.
Tennessee grabbed two more runs in the top of the seventh inning, extending its lead to 5-1 before a big ninth inning thanks to a Tech error. The Vols scored five unearned runs in the frame to grab their third straight victory.
A transfer from Tennessee, redshirt sophomore Jake Rowland enjoyed a solid performance against his former ball club, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Zach Zarzour and Jordan Hopkins both drew multiple walks in the game and Thomasson drove in the lone run for the Golden Eagles thanks to a 1-for-4 day at the dish.
The Tech squad won't get much rest, as the Golden Eagles get set to host in-state rival Middle Tennessee Wednesday evening in a 6 p.m. CT contest. Tech downed the Blue Raiders in their home opener earlier this season, defeating MTSU, 9-5.