March 13, 2018

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JACKSON, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball squad defeated in-state rival Union University 11-5 this evening.

UT Martin (4-12, 1-2 OVC) was led by Collin Edwards, who reached base a total of five times by going a perfect 3-for-3 while also drawing two walks and was able to swipe a pair of bases along the way. Jordan Stoner tallied three hits and Carson Shrode connected for two base knocks while both Tyler Albright and Blake Davis got a hit each. Shrode led the team with two RBIs followed by Stoner and Harford with one apiece.

Seth Rayburn (1-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen as he tossed three innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts following Dalton Westfall’s start of three innings, no earned runs and four strikeouts. The trio of Jefferey O’Doherty, Zack Denney and David Hussey showed out tonight as only two Union Bulldogs were able to get on base in their three innings of work (one full inning each) and two strikeouts in that span.

The Skyhawks looked to get off to a good start as Stoner drew a six-pitch walk to begin the affair. He would be erased by a double play ball before Albright would draw a walk of his own, but no runs came in the first frame.

Union struck for a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to give the Bulldogs an early 2-0 advantage.

UT Martin would hit back with a trifecta of runs in the second. Edwards led off by singling to center field on the first pitch he saw followed by a Davis single. Edwards was able to cross home plate on a throwing error as Davis moved up to second. Ethan Whitley drew a four-pitch walk later followed by a Billy Edwards walk to load the bases. A Union wild pitch would allow Davis to come home and move the trailing runners up a base each. Stoner then grounded out to third base to plate Whitley to put the Skyhawks up 3-2.

Westfall made quick work of the Union half of the second as he retired the side on 13 pitches. He recorded a pair of strikeouts, both swinging, with a foul out sandwiched in between.

Albright led off the UT Martin third with a double to right center and was later able to advance to third base on a wild pitch just. Collin Edwards was able to draw a walk and then swiped second and moved on up to third base on a throwing error which allowed Albright to cross home plate to push the Skyhawk lead out to 4-2.

With two outs in the fourth, UT Martin showed signs of life as Stoner was able to connect for a double followed by a Harford walk but to no avail.

Rayburn came in dealing in the fourth frame as he retired the side on a pair of flyouts and a groundout on just eight pitches.

In the fifth inning, Collin Edwards was able to single through the left side and then recorded his second steal on the evening. He was then shifted to third on a groundout but unable to be driven in.

Rayburn kept up the good work in the fifth as he found the first out on a flyout to center followed by a three-pitch strikeout. He then issued a walk but found a handy groundball to end the inning.

Shrode led off the sixth with a single to center followed by another Billy Edwards walk. Stoner then singled back to the pitcher to juice the bases. A Harford groundout tacked on a run for the Skyhawks. Albright reached on a fielder’s choice but Edwards would be out at home to end the inning but UT Martin would have given itself a 5-2 lead.

Union put up a fight in the home half of the sixth to temporarily even things up at 5-5.

The Skyhawks unloaded in the seventh as Collin Edwards drew a four-pitch walk followed by Davis showing he could work the count too as he drew an eight-pitch walk. Whitley was then able to reach safely on an error and a heads-up Edwards was able to cross home plate. Shrode reached on an error as well, advancing to second in the process with both Davis and Whitley coming home. A Billy Edwards groundout was enough to move Shrode over to third just in time for a wild pitch which allowed him to cross the plate as well, UT Martin reclaiming a 9-5 lead.

O’Doherty came on in the seventh and kept the ball in the air by retiring the side on a pair of flyouts and a lineout on 10 pitches.

JoJo Allen pinch hit for Ben Aslett in the eighth inning and showed great discipline as he drew a four-pitch walk followed by a Collin Edwards single. Whitley then drew a four-pitch walk of his own to load the bases. A Shrode double to right field was enough to plate both Allen and Edwards to push the Skyhawk lead up to 11-5, the ultimate final score.

Denney worked around a pair of hits in the eighth as he recorded his first out on a popup to short followed by a groundout. After allowing the pair of hits, he fanned a Bulldog to end the inning unscathed.

To keep up the strong bullpen theme, Hussey sat down the first batter he saw on a strikeout followed by a pair of ground balls to end the game.

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