Eagle Baseball bests EKU and TTU to force winner-take-all OVC Championship Game
It all comes down to this.
Morehead State baseball knocked off Eastern Kentucky 5-2 to reach the 2018 OVC Tournament Championship game and then ousted No. 18 Tennessee Tech 11-6 Saturday to force a winner-take-all game on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
MSU is now 36-24 overall and is the only league team to hand the nationally-ranked Golden Eagles two losses this season.
MSU 5, EKU 2
Freshman pitcher Will Lozinak gave his team 6.1 strong innings, including a career-best eight strikeouts, while freshman lefty Cory Conway entered in the ninth and picked up a save without even throwing a pitch. He picked off EKU's Logan Stephens at second base to end the game.
In between, senior right-handed reliever JC Hatcher tossed 2.1 innings and only surrendered one run to improve to 4-2.
The teams went toe-to-toe and scoreless for the first 5.5 innings before junior left-fielder Niko Hulsizer connected on his 10th home run of the season, a 420-foot blast to centerfield.
EKU knotted the game 1-1 with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but MSU took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. An RBI single by senior left-fielder Tyler Niemann made it 2-1, and then junior right-fielder Jake Hammon crushed a three-run round-tripper to right field to make it 5-1.
EKU scored once in the eighth on Daniel McFarland's run-scoring single.
Niemann, junior center-fielder Connor Pauly and Hulsizer had two hits apiece.
MSU 11, No. 18 TTU 6
Senior second baseman Braxton Morris – the all-time games played (224) leader in Morehead State history, was the offensive hero, and Conway was the MVP on the mound.
Morris' two hits both left the yard, including a two-run homer in the third inning and a grand slam in the sixth frame to push the MSU lead to 11-3.
Meanwhile Conway gave his team 4.1 innings of important relief, only surrendering two runs in his final inning. He struck out three in improving to 8-3 while also setting the school single-season record with his 34th appearance.
Junior TJ Satterly struck out Tech's Collin Harris to end the eighth inning, and typical starter Dalton Stambaugh entered in the ninth with the bases loaded and struck out the final two hitters for his first career save.
After homering in the day's first game, Hulsizer also bombed another round-tripper against Tech, sending a pitch from Golden Eagle starter Alex Hursey nearly 500 feet over the left-field wall in the fourth inning.
Morris, Pauly and Hammon all had two hits, with Hammon upping his tournament RBI total to a league-high 10.