By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
RICHMOND, Ky. – A tough day with the bats and on defense proved the difference maker for the Tennessee Tech baseball team Sunday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles fell in their Ohio Valley Conference series finale at Eastern Kentucky, 8-2.
The Colonels (26-22, 12-12) used errors by the purple and gold in the first and third to plate three unearned runs and scored an earned one in the second, taking an early 4-0 lead. EKU expanded that lead to as much as 8-0 as Brennan Kelly holding the Golden Eagle offense to just four hits over the first eight innings.
Tech (19-27, 7-10) withstood the shutout attempt by the Colonels plating a pair in the top of the ninth. After a quick out, sophomore Jason Hinchman drew a walk on a full count. On the next pitch, junior Anthony Carrera blistered a ball down the right field line for a double.
Next up for the Golden Eagles, junior Gavin Johns singled to center field, driving in both Hinchman and Carrera. The base hit prompted an EKU pitching change, securing the win for Kelly.
Sophomore hurler Tyler Sylvester took the loss despite a solid day on the hill. The right-hander covered five innings with just two of his five runs allowed coming as earned. He punched out six batters while surrendering six hits and two walks.
Caleb Morgan finished the final three innings, holding the Colonels to just two hits and a pair of walks. He struck out seven batters while giving up a three-run home run.
All-American Kevin Strohschein led the Tech offense with two of the team's six hits in the contest. He collected his 68th double of his career in the sixth, tying Jacksonville State's Clayton Richard for the all-time lead in OVC history. It was also his 17th of the year.
The Golden Eagles will return to Cookeville Tuesday for a 5:00 p.m. CT tilt with in-state rival Middle Tennessee at Quillen Field and Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex.
Photo by Tony Marable