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Pitching paves way again as Tech takes OVC series over Lindenwood

Pitching paves way again as Tech takes OVC series over Lindenwood

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – For the second straight day, the Tennessee Tech pitching staff carried the load for the Golden Eagles on the diamond, as the Golden Eagle baseball team won a pitcher's dual at Lindenwood Saturday afternoon, 3-1.

The purple and gold (22-13, 8-3) secured its third straight Ohio Valley Conference series win and ninth victory in its last 10 games thanks to a brilliant outing from Peyton Calitri and a strong finish by Jaxson Pease. The Lions (11-23, 4-7) nearly matched the Tech showing on the hill, but in the end, the Golden Eagle bats got the job done by making the most of their few opportunities on the day.

Calitri, the reigning OVC Pitcher of the Week after tossing eight scoreless frames with 10 strikeouts last weekend, was special again for the Cookeville crew. The senior set the tone by blanking the Lions through the opening six innings, making it 14 straight frames without yielding a run.

Lindenwood finally broke through in the seventh, using a base hit, an ultra-rare walk by Calitri, and another base knock up the middle to score a single marker. The Tech ace limited the damage and closed the inning out before handing things over to the bullpen.

Picking up his league-leading sixth victory of the year, Calitri ended the day with 7.0 innings of work, scattering six hits and a free pass while fanning six batters as well. He lowered his season ERA to 1.95 to pace the OVC.

Pease took over for Calitri and kept the momentum rolling. After picking up a fly ball to start the eighth, the sophomore issued his lone walk of the tilt. That was quickly avenged by the defense, as the Golden Eagles turned a 4-6-3 double-play to end the frame.

The righty secured his second save of the season in the ninth, opening things with a punch out. A double put the pressure on a bit, but a pair of ground outs to shortstop Tanner Shiver did the trick as the Golden Eagles picked up the win.

Tech used a healthy third inning to provide all the offensive damage it needed on Saturday, with third baseman Eddie Garza paving the way with a lead-off walk. Two batters later, center fielder Jackson Green drew the first of his two free passes on the day, putting a pair of runners on with one out.

Left fielder Austin Turner provided the only hit in the inning for the purple and gold, blistering a single up the middle to plate the first run of the ball game. A walk to second baseman Troy Baunsgard loaded the bags before a wild pitch brought home the second run of the frame.

Making it a three-run inning was catcher Hayden Gilliland. The senior backstop sent a long fly ball to right field, resulting in a sacrifice fly and RBI.

Turner picked up his 16th stolen base of the season in the contest, moving into a tie for 21st in program history for a single season. He is also the first Golden Eagle to swipe at least 16 bags since Brett Roberts in 2021.

Game three of the OVC series will open at 1:00 p.m. CT Sunday afternoon at the Lou Brock Sports Complex.

File photo by Emily Armstrong

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