Tech wraps up non-conference slate at in-state rival Tennessee

Tech wraps up non-conference slate at in-state rival Tennessee

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

Tennessee Tech Baseball Midweek Preview (5/13)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team closes out the non-conference slate of the 2019 campaign with a trip east down I-40 for a match-up with in-state rival Tennessee Tuesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT with the contest available both on SEC Network + and on 106.1 The Eagle for fans to follow.


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Tuesday, May 14, 5:00 pm | Knoxville, Tenn. | Lindsey Nelson Stadium (4,283) | 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 continued that trend last. After setting the OVC's career marks for doubles and at bats in midweek action against Middle Tennessee, he hammered his 62nd career home run against Morehead State, tying for the all-time lead with former Golden Eagle great Zach Stephens. 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, home runs, RBI, runs scored, at bats, total bases, games played and games started, as well as the OVC leader in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, at bats and total bases, the center fielder is still within spitting distance of one more OVC mark.

     Current    OVC Record    Current Leader    School (Years)
Home Runs   62   62   Zach Stephens   Tennessee Tech (2011-14)
Runs   236   241   Bert Smith   Jacksonville State (2006-10)


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 (62), RBI (244) and total bases (631). He also ranks in the top-five in hits (second with 354), doubles (second with 71), runs (second with 236), and at bats (third with 991).

How good and consistent has Strohschein been through his four career? Since the BBCOR bat standards were adopted in 2011, he is the only player to have played his entire career in the BBCOR era and rank in the top-five in the career categories of hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, runs, total bases and at bats. He is the era's all-time career leader in home runs, RBI and total bases (by a whoppinp margin over more than 75) and ranks second in hits and runs scored.

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 23 in 50 games. That's 43.4 percent of his 53 hits leaving the ball park. It's also good enough to rank the first baseman tied for the nationaly lead in long balls, tying Tulane's Kody Hoese and Vanderbilt's JJ Bleday  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 23 round trippers in his last 40 games.

With a two-run bomb at Eastern Kentucky earlier this season, 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 batting average (.352), hits (62), doubles (12), home runs (11), RBI (52), slugging percentage (.619) and on base percentage (.444). He also ranks third in runs scored (41). Dyer ranks in the top-five in the league in RBI and slugging percentage, the top-10 in batting average and on base percentage and the top-15 in doubles.

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 26 of its past 29 contests. Over that span, the Golden Eagles have clubbed 65 dingers, with 18 games boasting multiple shots. Earlier in the season, 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 83 round trippers and ranks second nationally.

2019 Record: 22-28
2019 OVC Record: 9-18 (T-9th)
Head Coach: Justin Holmes
TTU: 22-28 (1st Season)
Career: Same

AVG: Kevin Strohschein (.377)
2B: Kevin Strohschein (20)
3B: Kevin Strohschein (2)
HR: Jason Hinchman (23)
RBI: Jason Hinchman (54)
R: Kevin Strohschein (55)
BB: Jason Hinchman (41)
SB: Jason Hogan (4)
ERA: Tyler Sylvester (3.68)
W: Andrew O'Dwyer (3)
APP: Daniel Holley (19)
IP: Mark Leonard (58.0)
K: Mark Leonard (57)
SV: Tyler Sylvester (3)

2019 Record: 35-17
2019 SEC: 12-15 (4th East)
Head Coach: Tony Vitello
UT: 64-44 (2nd Season)
Career: Same

AVG: Alerick Soularie (.366)
2B: Ricky Martinez (16)
3B: Luc Lipcius (2)
HR: Andre Lipcius (14)
RBI: Andre Lipcius (51)
R: Andre Lipcius / Alerick Soularie (44)
BB: Justin Ammons (31)
SB: Jay Charleston (31)
ERA: Redmond Walsh (1.24)
W: Garrett Stallings (7)
APP: Redmond Walsh (22)
IP: Garrett Stallings (83.1)
K: Garrett Stallings (91)
SV: Redmond Walsh (8)

Photo by Tony Marable