By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team couldn't overcome a tough first inning or a hot-hitting Bulldog squad Tuesday afternoon as the Golden Eagles (10-17) fell to UNC Asheville (15-14) in Cookeville, 14-5.
The Bulldogs entered the contest having won all seven of its midweek contests in the 2015 season and used big performances at the plate to push that record to 8-0. UNC Asheville plated five unearned runs in the top of the first, taking advantage of three Golden Eagle miscues.
The visitors added to their lead in the second before the Tech squad grabbed its first run of the game in the bottom of the third of a sacrifice fly from freshman first baseman Chase Chambers.
Both sides fought to scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth before the Bulldogs swiped a three-spot in the top of the sixth. Tech tallied a second marker in the frame as well, this time a solo moon shot to right center field from freshman Ryan Flick. The designated hitter tied senior Dylan Bosheers for the team-lead in home runs with an absolute bomb into some pretty blustery winds, his fifth of the season.
The Golden Eagles crossed home plate three more times in the bottom of the ninth, with freshman Adam Reed driving in Chambers with a single down the first base line. With two outs in the frame, Andrew Contreras laced a two-run double to left field to keep Tech's hopes alive, but in the end, the deficit proved too great.
Five Bulldog batters recorded multiple hits in the contest and were led by Hunter Bryant, who tallied three in four at bats. He also drove in a team-high four runs. Spencer Orr picked up his third victory of the year after allowing one run over five innings.
Flick led the offensive attack for the Golden Eagles, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. He drove in his 29th run of the season, tops on the Tech squad and tied for third in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Tech will return to the diamond and OVC play Thursday evening, opening a three-game series with Eastern Illinois in a 6 p.m. tilt. The Golden Eagles will also play host to the Panthers on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.
Photo by Jim Dillon