Kirk Homers Twice in Eastern Michigan’s Loss to Tennessee Tech

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University baseball program dropped game two of the team’s three-game series against Tennessee Tech University today, Feb. 26, inside Bush Stadium.

Junior Matt Kirk (Milford, Ohio-Milford (Awning)) put together a brilliant performance at the plate Saturday, hitting two homers.

Senior right-hander Thomas House (Ross, Ohio-Ross) (0-2) started and took the loss on the mound for Eastern (1-4).

Kirk went 3-for-5 at the plate, supplementing his two home runs with three RBIs. Senior Christian Bault (MainevilleOhio-Archbishop Moeller) added to Kirk’s awesome power-hitting performance by going 1-for-5 with a home run and an RBI. Fellow senior Taylor Hopkins (Mason, Ohio-Archbishop Moeller) also helped out for the Eagles, going 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

How It Happened
The Eagles got the scoring started early, putting two runs on the board in the top of the first inning. Eastern Michigan plated two runs when Kirk left the yard with Hopkins aboard.

The Eagles then held the Golden Eagles scoreless before getting back on board the very next inning. Eastern Michigan scored once on an RBI single off the Hopkins bat, which brought the score to 3-0 in favor of the Eagles.

EMU’s lead had evaporated once the fifth inning came around and turned into a 6-3 Tennessee Tech advantage. The Eagles then cut that deficit to 6-4. Eastern notched a run on Kirk’s one-out solo home run.

The Golden Eagles expanded their lead to 13-4 before the Eastern Michigan offense got back in action, cutting into that lead in the ninth. The Eagles picked up a run on Bault’s one-out solo dinger, bringing the score to 13-5 in favor of Tennessee Tech. The ballgame ended with that ninth-inning rally falling short.

Game Notes
»Eastern launched three home runs in Saturday’s contest. The last time the Eagles tallied three round-trippers in a game came in a 10-4 win over Northern Illinois, May 14, 2021. EMU hit three-or-more homers in only three games last season, with its first occurrence coming in the 10th contest of 2021. Eastern Michigan needed just five games to reach the feat this season.
Eastern Michigan’s highest-scoring inning was the first, when the Eagles pushed two runs across.
»EMU left 13 runners stranded on base in the loss.
»Eastern Michigan pitchers faced 50 Tennessee Tech hitters in the game, allowing one ground ball and 10 fly balls while striking out 11.
»The Eagles drew eight walks from Tennessee Tech pitching. That mark ties a season-high for EMU (8, at Winthrop, Feb. 18).
»Kirk tallied two home runs on three hits for EMU. The last time an Eagle hit multiple homers in a game came against St. Bonaventure, May, 1, 2021, when teammate Denton hit two round-trippers in a 13-2 victory.
»Junior Frankie Volkers (Maple Grove, Minn.-Maple Grove) struck out a career-high five Golden Eagles hitters and House fanned five for Eastern Michigan.
»Senior Shane Easter (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Comstock) finished 2-for-5. With the base knock, Easter has earned a hit in each game this season, riding a five-game hitting streak.

Historical Notes
»With the win, Tennessee Tech now leads the all-time series against EMU 4-3.

Up Next
The Eagles conclude their road series with the Golden Eagles Sunday, Feb. 27. First pitch is scheduled for 2 pm ET.

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