BASEBALL TEAM SPLITS HOME DOUBLEHEADER AGAINST NORTH DAKOTA STATE
March 3, 2013
MARTIN, Tenn. – Senior outfielder Grant Glasser hit a walk-off single to lead The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team to a thrilling 3-2 victory over North Dakota State in the first game of a doubleheader this afternoon at Skyhawk Field. In the seven-inning nightcap, the Skyhawks fell 5-0 to the Bison out of the Summit League.
Glasser and Phil Sorensen led the way for UT Martin offensively today, each accounting for three hits in two games. Glasser, Nico Zych and Matt Haynes were responsible for RBI’s, while Brent Morris, Kenny King and Kyle Bargery crossed the plate this afternoon for the Skyhawks (4-6).
On the mound, junior reliever Chris Ross improved to 2-0 on the season, allowing only one hit over three shutout innings in Game 1. Ross followed up on yet another strong start by sophomore Taylor Cox, who set new career-highs in innings pitched (six) and strikeouts (seven) on his way to allowing only one extra-base hit and one earned run to lower his season ERA to 1.15. Game 2 starter Dan Tobik was charged with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) in the fifth inning. Trevor Lundgrin (1.1 innings) and Nick Wilson (one inning) did not concede an earned run out of the bullpen in Game 2.
“We made strides toward getting better today,” UT Martin head coach Bubba Cates said. “North Dakota State won 40 ballgames last year and is picked at the top of their league again this year. We won the game where their best pitcher started and our pitching staff put up 12 shutout innings out of 16 today.”
The Skyhawks will return home tomorrow (Monday, Feb. 4) when they battle Mid-Continent at 2 p.m. at Skyhawk Field.
The game was tied at 2-all through four innings and stayed that way until UT Martin broke through in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off win.
North Dakota State scored with two outs in the first inning but Cox settled down soon thereafter, retiring the side in order on three groundouts in the second.
King ignited a rally in the bottom of the second, singling to center to open the frame. After advancing to second on a wild pitch and taking third on a Zych single, he tied the game at 1-all after Haynes lifted a sacrifice fly out to left field.
Cox registered a strikeout and an inning-ending double play in the third, but the Bison scratched out an unearned run in the fourth to take a 2-1 advantage. The Skyhawks would answer in the bottom of the fourth. Morris singled up the middle to lead things off and advanced to third on a perfect hit-and-run call when Sorensen singled through the right side. The next batter – Zych – sent a towering fly ball to right field that was deep enough to score Morris and provide a 2-2 score.
Cox tallied two strikeouts in the fifth and another in the sixth to cap off his career-high day. Ross took over in the seventh and pitched around a one-out single to keep the score knotted at 2-all.
Ross needed only seven pitches to get through a perfect eighth, and followed that up with another perfect frame – an eight-pitch top of the ninth – to set the stage for the late game heroics.
Sorensen drove the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth off the right field wall for a double, just missing a home run by inches. Cates then tabbed Kyle Bargery to pinch run, and after back-to-back one-out walks by Haynes and Ben Brewer, Bargery stood just 90 feet away from a Skyhawk victory. Glasser dug in and guided a 1-1 pitch the opposite way through the left side for the game-winning hit.
The contest was scoreless through four innings until back-to-back multi-run innings by North Dakota State led to a 5-0 loss for the Skyhawks.
Tobik began the game on a roll for UT Martin, allowing only a single (erased by a double play) and a walk through 2.2 frames. The Bison pieced together back-to-back hits in the third but Tobik escaped the jam thanks to a great defensive play by Haynes on a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The Skyhawk defense turned another double play to complete the fourth inning and keep the game scoreless. Tobik got two quick outs on 10 pitches to start the fifth before four straight runners reached base – including a bases-loaded double to centerfield that gave North Dakota State a 3-0 lead.
UT Martin brought the tying run to the plate in the fifth but couldn’t generate a run. The Bison then added two more unearned runs in the sixth, both coming with two outs.
The Skyhawks had a runner reach base safely in both the sixth and seventh innings, but couldn’t move either into scoring position to start a rally.