OVC-leading Indians split at Tech

Sunday, May 5, 2002

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Southeast Missouri State University and Tennessee Tech split a pair of decisive victories Saturday as the Indians retained their lead in the Ohio Valley Conference standings.

The Indians won the opener 7-2 and dropped the finale 9-2. Southeast is 24-15 overall and 11-3 in OVC play. Tech is 22-22 and 5-8.

Brad Purcell pitched all seven innings of the first game as he improved his record to 8-2 and moved into a tie with teammate Brandon Smith for the OVC lead in victories. Purcell allowed three hits and one earned run while striking out 10 and walking one.

Southeast banged out nine hits. Vern Hatton had two hits, including his fifth home run of the season, and drove in four runs. Hatton extended his hitting streak to 22 games.

Denver Stuckey and Clemente Bonilla both added two hits for the Indians. Tristen McDonald got his fifth homer to tie Hatton for the team lead.

Tech took a 2-0 first-inning lead, but Purcell blanked the Eagles the rest of the way. Southeast pulled to within 2-1 in the fourth and then went ahead for good with a four-run fifth. The Indians added their final two runs in the seventh.

The Indians also had nine hits in the second game, but they committed four errors to make all but one of Tech's runs unearned.

Smith (8-2) gave up seven hits in 3 2/3 innings, but one of the six runs he allowed was earned. Smith struck out five and walked one. Four Southeast pitchers followed him to the mound.

Ben Downs (4-3) worked the final 3 2/3 innings for the victory, allowing four hits and one run, with five strikeouts and one walk.

Brian Hopkins went 3-for-3 to lead Southeast's offense. Stuckey added two hits, but Hatton saw his hitting streak come to an end.

Tech broke a 1-1 tie with a seven-run fourth inning.

The squads will close out their three-game series at 2 p.m. today.

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