By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – A late rally proved to be too little too late for the Tennessee Tech baseball team Tuesday evening, as the Bulldogs of UNC Asheville took advantage of an early 7-0 lead to hold on and down the Golden Eagles, 7-5.
The Bulldogs wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first to collect a 3-0 advantage. UNC Asheville tallied another marker in the bottom of the third and three more in the fourth to jump out to a 7-0 lead.
In the sixth, the Golden Eagles mounted a furious comeback bid with one out, kicking things off with senior Jordan Hopkins. The catcher was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch and freshman Ryan Flick followed by drawing a walk.
The next batter, Anthony El Chibani, took advantage of the runners on base, crushing a triple to right center field and driving in Tech's first two runs of the game. Another freshman, Johnny Carpenter, collected a walk to put runners on the corner before yet another freshman, Adam Reed, singled through the right side for another Golden Eagle RBI.
A quick pitching change would seem to help things for the Bulldogs, but Reed and Carpenter each advanced a base on a balk to start the at bat for Trevor Putzig. A wild pitch allowed Carpenter to score and add another run for Tech. Putzig followed the wild pitch by working a walk to bring up Jake Farr.
The junior hit into a fielder's choice, but was able to drive in Reed from third base to cut the Bulldog lead down to 7-5. Another walk, drawn by senior David Allen, put the tying run on base, but UNC Asheville reliever Parker Swindell recovered just in time to record the final out of the inning and close down the rest of Tech's comeback attempt.
Both sides shut down offensively over the final three frames, with just two hits being allowed the rest of the way. Jordan Fulbright picked up the victory for the Bulldogs, moving to 4-0 on the year with five innings of shutout work. Nick Schavone earned his fifth save of the season after closing out the final inning.
The Golden Eagles will return to action tomorrow evening when they return home to Bush Stadium to play host to Alabama A&M in a 6 p.m. CT tilt.
Photo by Jim Dillon