By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's baseball team overcame one, late two-run deficit, but couldn't do it twice Saturday afternoon, as the visiting Bradley Braves edged the Golden Eagles in 11 innings, 7-5.
Trailing 5-3 headed into the bottom of the ninth inning, Tech put together a furious rally after Bradley recorded a strikeout on six pitches to start the frame. Junior David Garza kicked it off with a floating single to right field.
Following right behind, sophomore Kevin Strohschein laced his own single down the left field line to keep the hope alive, moving Garza to second. Senior Chris Brown took his turn with the bat next, dropping a single to shallow center field to load the bases.
Bradley gathered its second strikeout of the inning on a tough call on the outside corner of the plate, brining junior Trevor Putzig to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. The third baseman delivered, ripping a single through the left side and driving in not one, but two runs to tie the game at nine.
The Braves brought in Cole Cook to get out of the inning with further damage and force extra innings. Both sides had opportunities in the 10th, but ultimately traded zeroes on their way to the 11th.
With one out and a man on first, Bradley's Derek Bangert blasted a two-run shot into the wind in left field, providing the necessary edge for the victory and Tech's first loss of the season.
The rubber match of the series is set for a 1 p.m. CT start Sunday afternoon at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex.
Photo by Tony Marable