By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
Tennessee Tech Baseball Midweek Preview (5/6)
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team will return to Cookeville to host its final non-conference home game of the season Tuesday evening, taking on in-state rival Middle Tennessee in a 5:00 p.m. CT tilt at Quillen Field and Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex.
The Blue Raiders won this season's first match-up in the home-and-home series, defeating the Golden Eagles, 11-4, in Murfreesboro back in February. Tech managed 12 hits in the game, but struggled to get runs across in the eventual loss.
TENNESSEE TECH (19-27) vs. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (17-30)
Tuesday, May 7, 5:00 pm | Cookeville, Tenn. | Quillen Field/Bush Stadium (1,100) | STATS
All-American outfielder Kevin Strohschein has spent the majority of his senior campaign rewriting the Tech and OVC record books and continued that trend over the weekend. He ripped his 68th career double to center field at EKU, tying for the OVC's career lead with Jacksonville State's Clayton Daneil. 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, doubles, 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||68||68||Clayton Daniel (Tied)||Jacksonville State (2015-18)|
|Home Runs||60||62||Zach Stephens||Tennessee Tech (2011-14)|
|Runs||230||241||Bert Smith||Jacksonville State (2006-10)|
|At Bats||972||975||Clayton Daniel||Jacksonville State (2015-18)|
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
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 (60), RBI (240) and total bases (614). He also ranks in the top-five in hits (second with 346), runs (second with 230), at bats (third with 972), and doubles (third with 68).
HE'S GOT THE POWER
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 20 in 46 games. That's 43.5 percent of his 46 hits leaving the ball park. It's also good enough to rank the first baseman third nationally in long balls, trailing Vanderbilt's JJ Bleday (23) and Tulane's Kody Hoese (21) 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 20 round trippers in his last 36 games.
With a two-run bomb at Eastern Kentucky this weekend, he became 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 hits (55), doubles (12), home runs (nine), RBI (48), slugging percentage (.608) and on base percentage (.444). He also ranks second in batting average (.348) and third in runs scored (36). Dyer ranks in the top-five in the league in RBI and slugging percentage and the top-10 in batting average, doubles and on base percentage.
HOME RUN U
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 22 of its past 25 contests. Over that span, the Golden Eagles have clubbed 56 dingers, with 15 games boasting multiple shots. Recently, 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 74 round trippers and ranks third nationally.
TENNESSEE TECH GOLDEN EAGLES
2019 Record: 19-27
2019 OVC Record: 7-17 (11th)
Head Coach: Justin Holmes
TTU: 19-27 (1st Season)
AVG: Kevin Strohschein (.372)
2B: Kevin Strohschein (17)
3B: Kevin Strohschein (2)
HR: Jason Hinchman (20)
RBI: Jason Hinchman (50)
R: Kevin Strohschein (49)
BB: Jason Hinchman (36)
SB: Jason Hogan (4)
ERA: Tyler Sylvester (3.91)
W: 7 players tied (2)
APP: Daniel Holley (19)
IP: Mark Leonard (53.0)
K: Mark Leonard (56)
SV: Jacob Cole / Tyler Sylvester (2)
MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS
2019 Record: 17-30
2019 C-USA: 10-14 (9th)
Head Coach: Jim Toman
MT: 17-30 (1st Season)
Career: 346-235-1 (10th Season)
AVG: Darien Prewett (.295)
2B: Aaron Antonini / Blake Benefield (11)
3B: 4 players tied (1)
HR: Blake Benefield / Myles Christian (9)
RBI: Aaron Antonini (30)
R: Aaton Antonini (32)
BB: Aaron Antonini (23)
SB: Myles Christian (12)
ERA: Josh Young (2.13)
W: Peyton Wigginton (5)
APP: Scheldon Paulk (21)
IP: Peyton Wigginton (74.0)
K: Peyton Wigginton (73)
SV: Tyler Holcombe / Scheldon Paulk (2)
Photo by Tony Marable