By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball couldn't overcome two big innings by the visitors of Eastern Illinois Friday evening, falling to the Panthers in their Ohio Valley Conference series opener, 13-2.
Eastern Illinois (9-11, 3-5) plated seven runs in the second inning and five more in the fourth, providing enough distance early for starter Michael YaSenka to earn the win after seven innings on the hill.
The Golden Eagles (11-10, 2-5) scored single runs in each of the second and third frames, but struggled to get much going against YaSenka. The EIU hurler tallied eight strikeouts against the purple and gold while surrendering just six hits.
The Panthers had the bats working, totaling 18 hits in the contest. Tech's pitching staff and defense worked together to strand 15 Panther runners in the contest.
In the third, the Golden Eagles struck again. Second baseman Nathan McMeans led off the inning with a single through the right side. Two batters later, senior All-American Kevin Strohschein laced a double down the left field line to give Tech its second tally of the contest.
Sophomore Jacob Parham enjoyed the most success on the hill for the Golden Eagles, tossing three and one third innings of scoreless ball on the day. Alex Hursey covered one and two thirds innings without allowing a run while Caleb Morgan notched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. CT start at Bush Stadium of the Averitt Express Baseball Complex Saturday afternoon.
Photo by Tony Marable