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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Skyhawks take series opener over Golden Eagles

Skyhawks take series opener over Golden Eagles

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

MARTIN, Tenn. – A first-inning outburst was too much for the Tennessee Tech baseball team to overcome Friday evening, as the Golden Eagles fell in their Ohio Valley Conference series opener at UT Martin, 7-2.

The Skyhawks (16-25, 8-8) balanced its day with a huge first-inning attack and a spectacular pitching performance from starter Tristan Walton. The UT Martin bats got to Tech (26-16, 10-6) early, using four hits and an error to provide their hurler all the room they would need.

A base hit through the left side, a high chopper to shortstop up the middle, and a defensive miscue by the Tech defense loaded the bases before an out was recorded in the bottom of the first. A fielder's choice brought home the first run while a base hit and three-run home run to right field took care of the four for the frame.

Tech put a dent in the Skyhawk lead in the third, with center fielder Jackson Green getting things started with a five-pitch walk with one out. Second baseman Troy Baunsgard provided the jolt, gathering the team's first hit with a two-run blast to left-center field. His seventh long ball of the year cut the deficit to three.

UT Martin answered in the bottom half of the inning with a lead-off shot to center field before both teams turned the game over to their respective pitching staffs through the seventh. In the eighth, the Skyhawks picked up one more run on a sacrifice bunt.

Skyhawk starter Tristan Walton outdueled Tech's Landon Smiddy, tossing 7.0 innings with two hits, two runs, and three walks allowed while striking out 11 Golden Eagles. Smiddy settled after the first, turning in 5.0 innings of work on the mound with five earned runs surrendered and four punch-outs.

Offensively, the Golden Eagles struggled to get much going on the day, finishing with four hits and three walks. Baunsgard led the way with a 1-for-2 day, two RBI, and two walks to go with his dinger.

Rookie Juan Vargas completed 2.1 innings without allowing a hit and just one run. He also struck out four batters.

Game two of the weekend's series is slated for a 3:00 p.m. CT first pitch Saturday afternoon at Skyhawk Baseball Field.

File photo by Jim Dillon

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