The Golden Eagles baseball team was back on the road Tuesday evening, competing against rival Middle Tennessee State at Reese Smith Stadium, after winning two of three at home against Eastern Illinois. Tech broke an eight-game losing streak with the win against EIU April 2.
“That was great,” said head coach Matt Bragga about ending the streak. “Anytime things are not going your way and you are not playing well enough to win, it just feels so good to get that W and get back to winning ways from a morale perspective.”
There would be no scoring from either team during the first two innings Tuesday evening as each team struggled to put the ball in play.
Tech could not get the bats going in the top of the third, which allowed MTSU to take advantage in the bottom of the inning with a double to left field by Dustin Delgado, scoring Will Schnure to make it 1-0 in favor of the Blue Raiders. It was more of the same from both teams in the fourth inning and then again in the fifth with neither team scoring and keeping the score 1-0 going into the top of the sixth inning.
Tech’s bats remained cold as they failed to get on the scoreboard in the top of the inning. The Blue Raiders would score one run in the bottom of the sixth courtesy of a single to right field from outfielder Brad Jarreau, scoring Will Schnure. The score was now 2-0 going into the seventh inning.
Tech’s bats would finally catch fire in the top of the seventh thanks to a rally started by a two RBI double down the left field line from outfielder Tyler Brazleton, scoring Josh Pankratz and Ryan Flick, making the score now tied 2-2. The rally kept going from a single to center field by David Allen, scoring Anthony El Chibani. Tech would end the top half of the inning with a three RBI double from Jordan Hopkins, scoring Dylan Bosheers, Tyler Brazelton and David Allen, making it 6-2 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
“Before that at-bat, when I was going in I was just confident knowing I was gonna get a hit,” said senior Jordan Hopkins about his seventh-inning heroics. “He gave me a good pitch to hit and luckily we had some runners on base and that double meant something – we got some runs in.”
That would be all of the scoring Tech would need for the rest of the evening as MTSU would only score three more runs all in the bottom of the eighth inning helping the Golden Eagles keep their lead and win the game 6-5 over their in-state rivals.
Tech was led by catcher Jordan Hopkins, who went two for five with three RBIs. The Blue Raiders were led by outfielder Jared Allen who went three for four with two RBIs. Jeb Scoggins was the winning pitcher for Tech, giving up one run on two hits in one inning of work, and the save went to Cain Sloan who struck out one and allowed one hit in 1.2 innings of work. The losing pitcher for MTSU was Heath Slatton, who had a poor performance allowing four earned runs on three hits with not even an inning of work.
Tech will be back in action April 10, on the road against OVC rival Jacksonville State for game one of a three-game series. The series opener starts at 6 p.m.