Golden Eagles to square off with No. 2 Vanderbilt Tuesday evening in Nashville

Golden Eagles to square off with No. 2 Vanderbilt Tuesday evening in Nashville

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

Tennessee Tech Baseball Midweek Preview (4/29)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team will visit its second nationally-ranked opponent in as many weeks Tuesday evening, heading down I-40 for a match-up with No. 2 Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field at 6:30 p.m. CT.

The Golden Eagles will look to make it three straight wins over the Vandy Boys, having earned wins of 6-4 last season and 5-2 during the 2017 campaign. Tech owns a 3-2 advantage in the past five match-ups, kicking off the run of success with its in-state rival with a thrilling, 10-9 victory over the No. 2 ranked Commodores back in 2014.

TENNESSEE TECH (18-24) at #2 VANDERBILT (34-9)

Twitter: @TNTech_Baseball | Facebook: /TennesseeTechBaseball | Instagram: TNTech_Baseball

Tuesday, Apr. 30, 6:30 pm | Nashville, Tenn. | Hawkins Field (3,626) | STATS | VIDEO | AUDIO | TICKETS 


All-American outfielder Kevin Strohschein has spent the majority of his senior campaign rewriting the Tech and OVC record books and made a major dent in that quest with one swing last Tuesday. In the first inning of Tech's contest at No. 13 NC State, the senior slugger blasted a two-run shot to left field. The home run broke both the OVC's career marks for hits (331) and RBI (230). Now the Golden Eagles' all-time leader in hits, doubles, RBI, runs scored and total bases, as well as the OVC leader in hits, RBI and total bases, the center fielder is still within spitting distance of multiple other OVC marks.

     Current    OVC Record    Current Leader    School (Years)
Doubles   67   68   Clayton Daniel   Jacksonville State (2015-18)
Home Runs   58   62   Zach Stephens   Tennessee Tech (2011-14)
Runs   225   241   Bert Smith   Jacksonville State (2006-10)
At Bats   955   975   Clayton Daniel   Jacksonville State (2015-18)


Strohschein ranks as one of the most accomplished hitters, not just in Tech or OVC history, but among all current NCAA Division I players. The McDonough, Ga. native leads all active players in career home runs (58), RBI (234) and total bases (599). He also ranks in the top-five in hits (second with 338), runs (second with 225), at bats (third with 955), and doubles (fourth with 67).

Sophomore Jason Hinchman has enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first starting role with the purple and gold, leading the OVC in home runs with an eye-popping 19 in 42 games. That's 44.2 percent of his 43 hits leaving the ball park. It's also good enough to rank the first baseman third nationally in long balls, trailing Tulane's Kody Hoese and Vanderbilt's JJ Bleday by just two for a share of the lead. What's more astonishing, is the fact that Hinchman did not have a long ball through the team's first 10 games of the season. He has 19 round trippers in his last 32 games.

His next bomb will make him just the fourth player in program history to join the 20-home run club for a single season. Former Tech legend A.J. Kirby-Jones accomplished the feat twice, smacking 20 exactly in 2009 and setting the school record with 26 in 2010. The first member of the exclusive group was Jeremy Bonczynski, who smashed 20 long balls in 1997. The club's most recent addition was All-American Brandon Thomasson, who clubbed 22 in 2014.

Freshman John Dyer has raised many eyebrows in his rookie campaign, ranking as one of the best hitters in the Tech lineup, as well as the league. The Mt. Juliet native leads all OVC freshmen in batting average (.343), doubles (11), home runs (seven), RBI (40) and slugging percentage (.580).

The nation's reigning home run champ after smashing an OVC-record 135 dingers a year ago, it took the Golden Eagles a little time to get the bats rolling to start the 2019 campaign. The power is back on it Cookeville, however, as Tech enters the week having smashed a long ball in 17 of its past 18 contests. Over that span, the Golden Eagles has clubbed 43 dingers, with 12 games boasting multiple shots. On Sunday, Tech snapped a 17-game streak with at least one home run, easily ranking as a program record. In fact, the 2019 squad is the first in school history to hit double figures with the streak. Last year's record-shattering squad did it nine times in-a-row twice. On the year, Tech leads the OVC with 68 round trippers and ranks fourth nationally.

2019 Record: 18-24
2019 OVC Record: 6-15 (11th)
Head Coach: Justin Holmes
TTU: 18-24 (1st Season)
Career: Same

AVG: Kevin Strohschein (.363)
2B: Kevin Strohschein (16)
3B: Kevin Strohschein (2)
HR: Jason Hinchman (19)
RBI: Jason Hinchman (48)
R: Kevin Strohschein (44)
BB: Jason Hinchman (32)
SB: Jason Hogan (4)
ERA: Jacob Cole (4.60)
W: 6 players tied (2)
APP: Daniel Holley (17)
IP: Mark Leonard (47.0)
K: Mark Leonard (48)
SV: Jacob Cole / Tyler Sylvester (2)

2019 Record: 34-9
2019 SEC: 15-6 (1st East)
Head Coach: Tim Corbin
VU: 715-351-1 (17th Season)
Career: 821-489-1 (22nd Season)

AVG: Austin Martin (.405)
2B: Ethan Paul / Stephen Scott (15)
3B: Austin Martin (4)
HR: JJ Bleday (21)
RBI: JJ Bleday (56)
R: JJ Bleday (53)
BB: JJ Bleday (33)
SB: Harrison Ray (13)
ERA: Mason Hickman (2.04)
W: Drake Fellows (9)
APP: Tyler Brown (17)
IP: Drake Fellows (68.2)
K: Drake Fellows (78)
SV: Tyler Brown (9)

Photo by Tony Marable