May 7, 2013

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team held an early lead this evening before Lipscomb closed out the game with 11 unanswered runs in a 12-3 Skyhawk loss at Ken Dugan Field this evening.

Offensively, UT Martin (10-34) was led by sophomore Taylor Cox, who doubled twice to go along with a walk and a pair of RBI’s. Hagen Nelson (2-for-3, walk) reached base safely three times while Sonny Mastromatteo (2-for-4, one run scored) also added a multi-hit performance. Byron Johann (two runs scored) and Matt Haynes (RBI) also paced the Skyhawk offense tonight.

Junior starting pitcher Chris Ross was hurt by unearned runs this evening, as he fell to 3-4 on the season. The right-hander out of Pembroke Pines, Fla. allowed eight runs in four innings but only two of those runs were earned. John Skubina (two runs in two innings), Trevor Lundgrin (scoreless seventh) and Nick Wilson (two runs in one inning) also saw time on the mound tonight for UT Martin.

Cox helped the Skyhawks take a lead at the beginning of the contest. After Johann drew a two-out walk in the top of the first, Cox jumped on a 2-1 pitch for a double to center, plating the speedy Johann to put UT Martin ahead 1-0.

After Ross held Lipscomb scoreless in the bottom of the first, the Bisons scored a two-out run in the bottom of the second to even the score at 1-all.

UT Martin would tilt the score back in its advantage in its next at-bat. Mastromatteo lined a one-out single to right, then stole second base to get into scoring position. After Johann was hit by a pitch, Cox once again showed his power stroke – ripping an opposite field double to left that plated two and made the score 3-1.

Ross fanned the first two batters in the third to set the tone for another scoreless frame. However, Lipscomb would strike for seven runs – six of which were unearned – in the fourth to go ahead 8-3.

Skubina retired the side in order in the fifth, but the Bisons added two more runs in the sixth. Lundgrin then shut out Lipscomb on just 12 pitches in the seventh before the Bisons tacked on two more runs in the eighth.

UT Martin had its chances to cut into its deficit, placing two runners on the basepaths in the sixth and loading the bases in the eighth. Ultimately, the Skyhawks could not manufacture any more runs to get back into the game.

The Skyhawks return home for their next four games – the final homestand of the season. UT Martin will host Ohio Valley Conference rival Austin Peay this weekend (May 10-12) before taking the field for the home finale against Central Arkansas on Tuesday, May 14.

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