March 7, 2014

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JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team battled but couldn’t escape an early deficit in a 10-5 loss at Jacksonville State this evening.

The Skyhawks (1-11, 0-1 Ohio Valley Conference) were led offensively by freshman left fielder Chase Young, who collected three hits and a walk out of the leadoff spot tonight. Phil Sorensen (two hits), Nico Zych (two runs scored) and Drew Erie (two RBI’s) also guided UT Martin tonight.

On the mound, Carter Smith provided four efficient relief innings, conceding only one earned run. However, starting pitcher Alex Boshers (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs over four innings of work.

After Jacksonville State scored three runs in the bottom of the first, UT Martin got one run back in the second. Zych singled down the left field line to lead off the frame, then advanced on an error and came around to score on an RBI groundout to pull the Skyhawks within two runs.

The Gamecocks tallied two runs in the second but it looked as if UT Martin would get back on the scoreboard in the third. The first two Skyhawk batters reached base but ultimately UT Martin could not push a runner across.

Jacksonville State scored four runs over the next three innings to go ahead by a 9-1 margin. The Skyhawks put baserunners on the corners with just one out in the sixth but the Gamecocks escaped the jam to keep their 9-1 advantage.

Smith tallied a pair of strikeouts in the sixth, swinging the momentum in UT Martin’s favor for a four-run top of the seventh. After the Skyhawks made two quick outs to begin the inning, Young drew a six-pitch walk and Jake Deason reached on a hit by pitch. Sorensen then singled through the right side to bring in Young. After Zych was hit by a pitch to load the bases, a pitching change occurred but Ben Upton drew a big walk to make the score 9-3. Kenny King was then called upon to pinch hit and he delivered, ripping a single through the left side to plate Sorensen. Three pitches later, Erie guided a single to the opposite field to make the score 9-4.

Smith retired the Gamecocks in order in the seventh and although Young registered his third hit of the game in the eighth, the score remained at 9-4 through the top of the eighth.

The Skyhawks were then hurt by defensive miscues in the bottom of the eighth, as three UT Martin errors led to one Jacksonville State unearned run.

UT Martin then could not produce a baserunner in the top of the ninth to extend the game.

These two teams will battle in Game 2 of the three-game set on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m.

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