Going, going, gone. Tech Baseball hit five home runs in an 11-4 win over Belmont. The win propelled the purple and gold to a 9-6 overall record to this point in the season.
Tech currently sits atop the Ohio Valley Conference, tied for first along with Southeast Missouri and Murray State with a 4-2 conference record. Tech is 4-1 at home, 4-4 on the road and 1-1 at neutral site games. The team’s batting average is .285% which is the league best. The on base percentage is .383, and their slugging percentage is .476. In 15 games, they have scored 107 runs and hit 22 home runs.
“The season is going great. Everyone is really buying into Coach Smith’s process… You have to eat an elephant one bite at a time,” Ed Johnson, sophomore shortstop, said about the season so far. Johnson is the OVC Player of the Week heading into the weekend.
“It’s been good to be back out playing again after the long interruption. In terms of what’s going on, on the field… We’ve had some positive COVID-19 tests that have knocked some guys out. The pitching has probably exceeded expectations,” Coach Smith said, expressing his thoughts on the season thus far.
The team is on the same page with the main goal being making it to the OVC Tournament. This year the top four teams will make it. Johnson said that he believes the team can be the best in the OVC, if not a top four teams at the least.
“It will ultimately come down to how well we pitch I think,” Coach Smith said when asked what the key is to getting to the OVC Tournament. “We were picked tenth in this league, so there’s not anybody else out there that has set that goal for us. Getting into the tournament would be one and just finishing above .500… I think right now in the league we may be the only team in the league above .500.”
In terms of personal success, Johnson is having an outstanding season at the plate. His current batting average is .452%. He also has 17 RBI (runs batted in) in his 11 games played. Johnson missed four games after testing positive for COVID-19. He said that staying small and taking a good pitch early in the count has gone a long way to contributing to his success. He said Coach Smith has reminded him to just breathe and slow down. Being comfortable in the box will help him have continued success.
Photo by Robert Smith, APSU Athletics