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Golden Eagles continue to roll with 9-5 win at Lipscomb

Golden Eagles continue to roll with 9-5 win at Lipscomb

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The momentum just continues to grow with the Tennessee Tech baseball team, as the Golden Eagles picked up their seventh win in the last eight games Tuesday evening, topping in-state rival Lipscomb, 9-5, at Ken Dugan Field in Nashville.

The offense has played its role in that stretch of success, tallying nine runs in five of the past seven games, all Tech wins. A collective of bats that had outscored its opponents 62-25 coming into the contest, the Cookeville crew (20-13) got off to an early start yet again, plating a pair in first.

One of the nation's leaders in walks lived up to his calling card to kick off the contest, as left fielder Austin Turner took five pitches to earn a free pass. Two pitches later, second baseman Troy Baunsgard made it a 2-0 ballgame, blasting his fifth home run of the year to left field.

The bats picked back up in the third, again starting at the top of the order. Turner was plunked before Baunsgard moved him up a base with a base knock through the left side. Both advanced a base on a ground out before first baseman Preston Ford drove in a run with an infield single to the shortstop.

On the flip side of the position, Tech shortstop Tanner Shiver made it a 4-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to left field. Right fielder Theo Bryant IV followed with a base hit up the middle putting a pair on for second baseman Eddie Garza.

The sophomore ripped a high chopper to second base that drove in Ford from second base. The infield hit gave Tech a 6-0 advantage heading into the fourth.

Completing three shutout innings in a predetermined outing of that length, rookie Eli Huddleston picked up his second win of the season. The local Upperman High School product allowed just one hit and one walk in his three frames of work, punching out three Bisons (9-22) batters.

Tech gathered another run in the fourth thanks to some defensive issues by Lipscomb and the speed of center fielder Jackson Green. The junior reached first after a swinging strikeout was mishandled by the catcher and eventually thrown away. The errant toss moved him up to second base with no one out in the inning. He moved over on a ground out and eventually scored with two outs in the frame thanks to a wild pitch and his wheels.

Lipscomb finally got on the board in the fourth, scoring twice in the frame off freshman Drew Mattox. The Tech offense backed up their new hurler, crossing home plate two times in the top of the fifth. Designated hitter Mack Whitcomb opened it with a sac fly to right field before Turner got hit by another pitch, this time with the bases loaded for an RBI.

The Bisons picked up two more runs of the unearned variety in the sixth inning, using an infield error by the Golden Eagles to buy an extra out. It paid off as the home team delivered a two-out, two-run long ball to left field.

Mattox ended his day with 2.2 innings of work, two earned runs allowed, and three strikeouts as senior reliever Matt Gelorme took over for the final out of the frame. The right-hander produced a scoreless seventh and allowed just one run in the eighth after the Golden Eagles picked up one of their own in the top half.

In that eighth inning, Turner drew his second free pass of the day and promptly stole his 14th bag of the year. Catcher Hayden Gilliland provided a 9-4 Tech lead, peppering an RBI single to left center field before the Bisons' run in the bottom half.

Andrew Guardino finished the contest for the visiting purple and gold, blanking the Lipscomb squad with just a single walk allowed.

Baunsgard led the team with two hits and two ribbies on the day while Turner paced the lineup with three runs scored. Seven different Golden Eagles picked up a hit in the affair.

Tech will head back out on the road this weekend, visiting St. Charles, Mo. Friday through Sunday in a three-game, Ohio Valley Conference series. Friday's opener is set for a 5:00 p.m. CT first pitch.

File photo by Jim Dillon

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