By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
RICHMOND, Ky. – A middle-inning comeback didn't last for the Tennessee Tech baseball team Saturday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles fell in game two of its Ohio Valley Conference series at Eastern Kentucky, 9-3.
The Colonels (25-22, 11-12) kept the Tech offense at bay for the first five innings, holding the Golden Eagles (19-26, 7-16) without a hit until the fourth frame. Eastern Kentucky scored twice on a pair of errors prior to the sixth inning, holding a 2-0 lead.
The purple and gold sprung to life with two outs in the top of the sixth, rallying to take the lead with All-American Kevin Strohschein providing the first blow. The senior slugger crushed the first pitch he saw to left center field for a solo home run, putting Tech on the board and cutting the deficit to just 2-1.
The long ball marked the 13th of the year for Strohschein, as well as the 60th of his career. He joined former Golden Eagle great Zach Stephens as the only players in league history to hit at least 60 round trippers in their careers. He now sits just two back of Stephens' OVC record.
Next up for Tech, freshman John Dyer smashed a double to center field, setting up sophomore Jason Hinchman for some fireworks. The first baseman turned on the second pitch he saw, crushing a two-run blast to left field to give Tech a 3-2 lead.
With the long ball, Hinchman became just the fourth Golden Eagle in program history to reach 20 home runs in a single season and the most recent since Brandon Thomasson crushed 22 during the 2014 campaign.
EKU answered in the bottom half with a pair of solo dingers, taking the lead for good. The Colonels added three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth for the final score of 9-3.
Junior hurler Mark Leonard was dealt the tough loss, surrendering just two earned and four total runs in six innings. He also struck out eight batters in the contest.
The Golden Eagles will look to claim the series from the Colonels on Sunday, with first pitch currently scheduled for a 12:00 p.m. CT start.
Photo by Tony Marable