WKU Baseball hosts the hottest team in the nation on Tuesday, April 17, when Tennessee Tech travels to Nick Denes Field for a midweek showdown. First pitch between the Hilltoppers and Golden Eagles will be at 5 p.m.
Tennessee Tech boasts a 29-5 overall record, including 20 consecutive victories, which is the longest current streak in the country. They are 1-of-5 teams in the nation (Florida, Duke, Ole Miss and Texas Tech) with at least 29 total wins. Ranked No. 28 in RPI, the Golden Eagles will be the fifth different team WKU has played in the top 40 (Kentucky, 12; Vanderbilt, 20; West Virginia, 30; Louisville, 37).
In the previous six games against those top-40 RPI teams, the Hilltoppers are 0-6. But that record is a bit misleading, as WKU has had a lead in the sixth inning or later in four of the contests, and 5-of-6 games have been decided by three or fewer runs.
The Hilltoppers took 2-of-3 from Marshall this past weekend to improve to 17-18 overall and 7-8 in Conference USA play. WKU already has more wins overall (17-to-16) and in C-USA action (7-to-6) than the team did in all of 2017.
Tennessee Tech leads the country in numerous offensive categories, including scoring (11.6 runs per game), homeruns (82) and winning percentage (.853). Collectively, the Golden Eagles are slashing .361/.457/.646, with all three marks leading the nation.
Designated hitter Kevin Strohschein is second in the country with 65 hits and tops the charts with 114 total bases, while leading the team with a .419 batting average. Center fielder and leadoff hitter Alex Junior leads the nation with 54 runs scored. Infielders John Ham and Trevor Putzig lead the team with 12 homeruns, while Strohshein’s 11 is right behind.
Of the nine players who have started at least 21 games for Tennessee Tech, each one is hitting at least .308 and has three homeruns. Seven have scored 40 runs, seven have at least 30 RBI and eight have at least 15 extra-base hits. In total, the Golden Eagles lead the country with 15 different players who have slugged a long ball.
On the mound, lefty Nic Dye is expected to get the start. The sophomore has started two straight midweek games for Tennessee Tech, wins of 4-2 at Kennesaw State and 14-2 vs. Middle Tennessee. In those starts, Dye pitched six scoreless innings and five frames of one-run ball to secure both of the wins. But overall this season, he has a 5.76 ERA with only 18 strikeouts in 29.2 innings of work.
WKU’s starting pitcher remains TBA at this time.
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Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics