By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – In the second midweek contest of the week for the Tennessee Tech baseball team, the Golden Eagles play host to in-state rival Middle Tennessee in a 6 p.m. CT match-up under the lights at Bush Stadium on Wednesday.
The Golden Eagles spoiled the Blue Raiders' home opener back on Feb. 18, taking MTSU down in a 9-5 victory that saw Brandon Thomasson belt two home runs. Tech enters after falling last night to No. 21 Tennessee in a 10-1 loss that was closer than the score indicates.
Middle Tennessee comes into the Cookeville after shutting out Tech's in-state and Ohio Valley Conference foe Belmont, 4-0, last night. The victory marked the end of a two-game skid for the Blue Raider squad after falling in its previous two contests to Southern Miss.
TENNESSEE TECH (25-9) vs. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (15-17)
Wednesday, Apr. 9
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.
Here's a look at the pitching match-ups between Tech and Middle Tennessee:
TENNESSEE TECH'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER
Wednsday: John Gora (LHP), JR, 5-11, 190
1-1, 5.51 ERA, 16.1 IP, 10 K, 11 BB
MIDDLE TENNESSEE'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER
Wednsday: Caleb Smith (RHP), FR, 6-0, 185
2-0, 4.50 ERA, 8.0 IP, 6 K, 7 BB