By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
OXFORD, Ala. – For the first time in the 2017 season, the Tennessee Tech baseball team fell to an Ohio Valley Conference opponent Friday evening, as the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (16-11, 5-5) defeated the Golden Eagles (24-8, 12-1) at Choccolocco Park, 7-2.
Tech took an early 2-0 lead in the contest, scoring twice in the fourth lead after junior Trevor Putzig led off the frame with a double to left center field. Sophomore Kevin Strohschein was hit by a pitch next, setting up junior Chase Chambers for an RBI single two batters later. A passed ball allowed Strohschein to dent home plate for the second run.
Jacksonville State answered in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game with two outs on a Golden Eagle miscue in the outfield. The Gamecocks struck for two unearned runs in the frame, knotting things at 2-2.
The home team then took the lead, for good, in the bottom of the sixth frame, scoring twice for a 4-2 advantage. Jacksonville State added three runs of insurance in the bottom of the eighth, taking a 7-2 lead that would hold for the final score.
The contest proved to be a pitcher's duel through the early stages, with both sides receiving exemplary efforts from their starting hurlers. On the night, Golden Eagle senior Michael Wood tossed six innings with a total of four runs surrendered – just two earned – as well as three walks. He struck out a season-high nine batters as well.
On the other side, Jacksonville State's Derrick Adams completed eight innings on the hill, allowing just one earned run and two runs total. He struck out 10 Tech batters without a walk to earn his second win of the year.
Offensively, Chambers led the way for the Golden Eagles, finishing 3-for-4 with the team's lone RBI on the night. Strohschein also notched multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Golden Eagles will look rebound from their first OVC loss of the season on Saturday when the two sides match up for game two at 1 p.m. CT.
Photo by Tony Marable