By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
FLORENCE, Ala. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team snapped a four-game skid Tuesday afternoon, wrapping up its five-game road swing with a grueling, 7-6 victory at North Alabama.
The Golden Eagles (11-9) jumped out to an early advantage on the night, loading the bases in the first with back-to-back singles from Jay Meuse and Kevin Strohschein, and a walk to Jason Hinchman. Freshman John Dyer then delivered the heavy swing, ripping the first pitch he saw for a bases-clearing double and 3-0 Tech lead.
In the second, Tech got right back to its scoring ways, plating a pair to move up 5-0. Gavin Johns reached base on a passed ball on a strikeout and Zell Walker followed with a double. Up next, Nathan McMeans singled home a run and Walker came around to score as well on an error by the Lions.
North Alabama (3-16) answered in the third, plating four runs, including two unearned. The home team then tied the game up in the fourth at 5-5, scoring on a double.
Tech jumped back out on top in the fifth, with Anthony Carrera reaching on a Lions miscue. With two outs, freshman Jason Hogan pinch hit and promptly came up with an RBI single to make it a 6-5 ball game in favor of the Golden Eagles.
Once again, the Lions responded, tying the contest at 6-6 with an RBI ground out in the fifth. Both sides traded zeros on the scoreboard in the sixth and seventh before the Golden Eagles took the lead for the good.
In the eighth, Hogan led things off with a double. Johns laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Hogan to third, but the Lions made another miscue, allowing Hogan to round third and score the eventual winning run on the error.
Junior Mark Leonard took the victory on the night, tossing five and one third innings of relief while allowing just one run on three hits. The right-hander moved to 2-1 on the year while striking out nine Lion batters.
Seth Noel turned in a decent start, covering the first two innings of the contest without allowing a baserunner and striking out three. Andrew O'Dwyer did not allow a run with one inning out the bullpen as well.
Dyer and Hogan each recorded two-hit days, with the pair of rookies combining for four of the team's five RBI.
The Golden Eagles will return home to Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex Friday evening to kick off a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series with Eastern Illinois at 6:00 p.m. CT.
Photo by Tony Marable