Baseball gets its first conference sweep of the year against UT Martin

Home Safe- Kevin Strohschein recieves a pat on the head from teammate Kit Fowler after scoring a run for Tech in the second game of Saturday's double header against UT Martin. 

The Tennessee Tech baseball team swept UT Martin in its first home conference series of the season. 

The Golden Eagles began Ohio Valley Conference play March 11 at Morehead State. The Eagles swept the weekend series against Tech giving the team a 0-3 OVC record. Tech added to the win column by defeating Kennesaw State in a midweek match up March 16 but was still seeking its first conference victory Friday against the visiting Skyhawks.

Tech jumped out to an early lead when Tyler Brazelton knocked a two-run homerun over the left field fence in the bottom of the first inning. The Golden Eagles added four runs to its total in the bottom of the second making its lead 6-0. 

UT Martin cut the lead in half in the third inning scoring three runs including a run off a walk by Tech. The Skyhawks were held scoreless for the rest of the game. 

Alex Junior gave the Golden Eagles some breathing room with a solo homerun in the fourth inning. The homer was Junior’s first as a Golden Eagle. 

The slugfest continued in the sixth inning when Brazelton blasted his second homerun of the game, which was another two-run shot. A fly out RBI from catcher Chris Brown and a single by infielder Trevor Putzig added two more runs in the inning. 

The Golden Eagles added one more run in the bottom of the seventh resulting in a nine run lead and the eventual 12-3 victory. 

The Golden Eagles and Skyhawks ended the weekend series Saturday with a double header. 

Tech won the first game of the double feature in a style similar to Friday’s conquest. The team hit its stride in the third and fourth innings scoring seven runs. Brown had the only homer in the game in the third inning. Brown’s three RBI homerun gave Tech a 3-1 advantage. 

The Golden Eagles stayed in front the rest of the way aided by an impressive performance from the bullpen. Tech pitchers gave up one earned run and four hits during the game.

The nightcap of the double header got a little interesting near the end. Tech entered the seventh-inning with a 5-1 lead. The Skyhawks closed the gap to 5-3 in the top of ninth, but Kyle Godwin sealed the win getting a groundout from UT Martin for the final out. 

Brazelton had an impressive outing at the plate for Tech during the series. Brazelton was 4-of-10 from the plate in the three games. The junior stated that the team clicked on all cylinders in the series. 

“Our pitching staff did great we played great defense and we hit the ball great, it was an overall team effort,” said Brazelton. 

The Golden Eagles as team had a productive weekend hitting the ball, racking up 27 runs in the three games. 

Head coach Matt Bragga described the significance of the series and how important it was for the team to have a successful weekend. 

“That was big,” said Bragga about the sweep. “We came off a weekend like last where we did not play very good, it was good getting our bats back, we pitched really well and had really good offense. It was really nice seeing it all come together this weekend.”

“Normally if one guys sticks out I can usually think of it really quickly and I cannot, the outcome of this series was a great team effort by our guys and also our pitching staff, ” said Bragga. 

Bragga stated that cutting down on strikes outs, continuing to fill the zone up from a pitching stand point and pounding the strike zone is what his team needs to do in order to continue its pursuit of season goals.

Tech is scheduled to return to the diamond Tuesday, March 22 against in-state rival Tennessee. The game will be in Knoxville and will be aired on the Southeastern Conference Network.

The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.