Golden Eagles swept by SEMO to open OVC play

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Heading into the bottom of the ninth down by five, the Tennessee Tech baseball team brought the winning run to the plate before falling to Southeast Missouri 7-4, as the Redhawks completed a three-game sweep of the Golden Eagles to open Ohio Valley Conference play.

Sophomore A.J. Kirby-Jones hit his eighth home run of the season, putting Tech (10-8) up 2-1, but three Redhawk (13-8) runs in the second and fifth innings were too much for the Golden Eagles to overcome.

Trailing 7-2, Tech threatened to cut into the deficit in the eighth inning, after a walk and a base hit put runners on first and second. But Cory Wright struck out swinging to end the inning, and the Golden Eagle scoring threat.

The Golden Eagles threatened again in the ninth, this time loading the bases with one out and the top of the Tech order up to bat. Leadoff hitter Alex Henry hit a blooper into left center that scored Heath Cheverton, and a ground ball by Tate McMillan on the next play scored Evan Webb to made the score 7-4 for Kirby-Jones. But SEMO pitched around Kirby-Jones, bringing up freshman Ben Burgess with the bases loaded, and Burgess grounded to second base to end the game.

Freshman Matthew Shepherd started the game on the mound for Tech, and went 1.1 innings allowing four runs. SEMO’s Todd Strahlendorf picked up the win, going four innings while allowing two Tech runs.

Tech tallied seven hits in the game, led by two from Cheverton, and one each from Henry, McMillan, Kirby-Jones, Burgess and Webb. But the Golden Eagles were haunted by three errors, as Tech gave up three unearned runs in the loss.

After starting the season 10-3, Tech has now lost five straight games, and falls to 10-8 overall, and 0-3 in OVC play.

The Golden Eagles are scheduled for re-matches with Belmont and Middle Tennessee next week before traveling to defending OVC champion Eastern Illinois for a three-game weekend series. Tech beat Belmont in Cookeville earlier this season, and fell at MTSU. Tech will play at Belmont on March 24, and host MTSU on March 25.