By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – In a fast-paced, pitcher's duel it was the long ball that made the difference for the Tennessee Tech baseball team Friday evening, as the Golden Eagles (16-21, 9-13) held off Ohio Valley Conference rival Morehead State (23-17, 12-7) at Quillen Field and Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex, 3-2.
Returning freshman Ty Fisher turned in a spectacular performance on the mound for the purple and gold, tossing seven innings while allowing just five hits, two earned runs and one walk. The southpaw punched out a season-high eight batters while earning his fifth victory of the year.
After Morehead State kicked off the scoring with an RBI triple in the top of the second, the Golden Eagle bats were quick to answer to support their own hurler. First baseman Golston Gillespie wasted no time, turning on the first pitch he saw and cracking a solo home run over the fence in right-center field.
The visitors struck again in the third, using soft contact and an RBI single to move back in front, 2-1. It took some time for the Golden Eagles to provide a response, but it was well worth the wait. While Fisher held the Morehead bats off the scent over the next four frames, Tech went to work.
The bottom of the sixth seemed fairly similar to the second, as shortstop Ed Johnson mimicked his teammate by crushing the first pitch he saw to left field. The sophomore's fourth round-tripper of the year tied the ballgame, but Tech had more to offer.
With two outs in the frame, Gillespie took his turn at the dish and delivered his second set of fireworks, hammering a solo jack to right field for a 3-2 Golden Eagle lead. His second moon shot of the game marked his ninth on the year. It also gave him his third multi-HR contest of the season, tying the program record for a single season.
Morehead threatened in the eighth, loading the bases and prompting the entrance of right-hander Grant Phillips. The senior induced a sharp fly ball to left field to end the frame and help Tech avoid any damage. He then covered the ninth, finishing a perfect inning by inducing a fly ball and a pair of ground outs to pick up his second save of the year.
The two OVC foes will square off again on Saturday, kicking off a doubleheader at noon CT with the second contest slated for an approximate start of 3:30.
File photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information