Tech baseball back in Cookeville this weekend to host Belmont

Tech baseball back in Cookeville this weekend to host Belmont

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

Tennessee Tech Baseball Weekend Preview (4/25)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball team is back in Cookeville this weekend for a three-game, Ohio Valley Conference series, playing host to in-state rival Belmont beginning with a 4:00 p.m. CT contest Friday.

First pitch of game two of the series is set for a 2:00 p.m. start on Saturday while Sunday's series finale will commence at 1:00 p.m. With inclement weather a possibility in the area throughout the weekend, fans are encouraged to check social media and the website for updates concerning this weekend's schedule.

All-American outfielder Kevin Strohschein has spent the majority of his senior campaign rewriting the Tech and OVC record books and made a major dent in that quest with one swing on Tuesday. 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, 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   65   68   Clayton Daniel   Jacksonville State (2015-18)
Home Runs   57   62   Zach Stephens   Tennessee Tech (2011-14)
Runs   221   241   Bert Smith   Jacksonville State (2006-10)
At Bats   943   975   Clayton Daniel   Jacksonville State (2015-18)


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 (57), RBI (230) and total bases (585). He also ranks in the top-five in hits (second with 331), runs (second with 221), at bats (third with 943), and doubles (fifth with 65).

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 19 in 39 games. That's 44.2 percent of his 43 hits leaving the ball park. It's also good enough to rank the first baseman third nationally in long balls, trailing Tulane's Kody Hoese by just two 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 19 round trippers in his last 29 games.

His next bomb will make him 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 (.356), doubles (11), home runs (six), RBI (36) and slugging percentage (.591).

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 each of its past 15 contests. Over that span, the Golden Eagles have clubbed 38 dingers, with 11 games boasting multiple shots. The 15 straight games with a home run ranks easily 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 63 round trippers and ranks fifth nationally.

TENNESSEE TECH (17-22, 5-13) vs. BELMONT (20-20, 14-7)

Twitter: @TNTech_Baseball 
Facebook: /TennesseeTechBaseball 
Instagram: TNTech_Baseball

Friday, Apr. 26, 6:00 pm | Cookeville, Tenn. | Quillen Field/Bush Stadium (1,100) | STATS 
Saturday, Apr. 27, 2:00 pm | Cookeville, Tenn. | Quillen Field/Bush Stadium (1,100) | STATS 
Sunday, Apr. 28, 1:00 pm | Cookeville, Tenn. | Quillen Field/Bush Stadium (1,100) | STATS 

2019 Record: 17-22
2019 OVC Record: 5-13 (T-10th)
Head Coach: Justin Holmes
TTU: 17-22 (1st Season)
Career: Same

AVG: John Dyer (.356)
2B: Kevin Strohschein (14)
3B: 4 players tied (1)
HR: Jason Hinchman (19)
RBI: Jason Hinchman (48)
R: Jason Hinchman / Kevin Strohschein (40)
BB: Jason Hinchman (29)
SB: Jason Hogan (3)
ERA: Jacob Cole (4.60)
W: 5 players tied (2)
APP: 3 players tied (15)
IP: Jacob Cole (43.0)
K: Mark Leonard (45)
SV: Jacob ColeTyler Sylvester (2)

2019 Record: 20-20
2019 OVC Record: 14-7 (1st)
Head Coach: Dave Jarvis
BU: 630-580-2 (22nd Season)
Career: 951-732-2 (31st Season)

AVG: Zach Ehrhart (.289)
2B: Chandler Adkins / Devon Gardner (9)
3B: Jackson Campbell (3)
HR: Jackson Campbell (5)
RBI: Tyler Wilber (27)
R: Zach Ehrhart (25)
BB: Chas Hadden (33)
SB: Devon Gardner / Logan Jarvis (7)
ERA: Kyle Brennan (2.84)
W: Logan Bowen / Joshua South (4)
APP: Logan Bowen (18)
IP: Joshua South (60.0)
K: Casey Queener (88)
SV: Kyle Brennan (5)

Photo by Thomas Corhern