May 16, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team outhit Eastern Illinois in both games today but the Panthers emerged with two wins at Skyhawk Field this afternoon.

Eastern Illinois won 3-1 in Game 1, which was postponed Friday night in the bottom of the third because of inclement weather. In this afternoon’s finale, the Skyhawks fell by a 7-3 margin.

Ben Upton had five hits in 10 at-bats today while Phil Sorensen hit .600, drew three walks and was hit by a pitch to lead UT Martin offensively. Jake Deason was also responsible for a pair of RBI’s for an offense that tallied 21 hits on the day compared to 16 hits for Eastern Illinois. However, UT Martin (9-41, 5-24 Ohio Valley Conference) could only muster four runs over 15 innings of play.

After Carter Smith pitched three shutout innings on Friday, Dalton Potts (1-9) pitched well in the final six innings of Game 1 but was hit with the hard-luck loss. He allowed just one earned run on four hits and one walk. In Game 2 of the series, Alex Martin (0-8) was effective but received the loss after conceding four earned runs on six hits in 6.1 frames. John Skubina also made an appearance today, allowing one run in 2.2 innings in Game 2.

The 2014 regular season finale is set for Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m. A pregame on-field ceremony honoring the team’s seniors will take place before the game.

Game 1

Eastern Illinois took advantage of a pair of Skyhawk miscues to earn the 3-1 win.

The Panthers were the first team to get on the scoreboard today, posting an unearned run in the top of the fifth. Eastern Illinois then added a run in the sixth to go ahead by a 2-0 margin.

Taylor Douglas doubled to lead off the sixth and Upton followed with a single through the right side to put baserunners on the corners with no outs. After Upton was thrown out on a delayed steal, Sorensen drew a walk to put another runner on the basepaths but UT Martin could not get on the scoreboard.

Potts sat down the Panthers in order in the top of the seventh but Eastern Illinois scored another unearned run in the eighth to go ahead 3-0.

The Skyhawks cut into their deficit in the bottom of the eighth. Douglas and Upton tallied back-to-back singles and Sorensen followed with a walk to load the bases with no outs. Nico Zych chopped an infield RBI single to make the score 3-1 but that would be the end of UT Martin’s scoring threat in the inning.

Potts needed just eight pitches to get through a scoreless ninth inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Young singled with two away and Douglas followed with his third hit of the game – a single through the right side to bring the go-ahead run to the dish. However, Eastern Illinois would close out the win.

Game 2

The Skyhawks led early but Eastern Illinois took the lead for good in the top of the fifth and UT Martin could not recover.

Eastern Illinois tallied an unearned run in the top of the first but Martin bounced back with two scoreless frames.

Zych singled to lead off the bottom of the second and moved up to second on a single by Andrew Massey. Deason then crushed the first pitch he saw to deep left center for a two-run double that gave the Skyhawks a 2-1 advantage.

The first two Skyhawks reached base in the bottom of the third but UT Martin could not push out its lead.

The Panthers tied the game in the top of the fourth and tacked on two more runs in the fifth to go on top by a 4-2 margin.

Martin bounced back nicely, retiring the side in order on just nine pitches in the top of the sixth.

Zack Malone (double) and Zych (single) reached base safely to begin the bottom of the sixth. Drew Erie then sacrificed Zych up to second base on a bunt but Eastern Illinois escaped the jam unscathed.

Eastern Illinois scored three runs on four hits in the seventh but the Skyhawks got one run back in the bottom half of the frame. Young drew an eight-pitch walk and would later advance to second on a wild pitch. After an Upton single, Sorensen ripped a hard single up the middle to plate Young and make the score 7-3.

Skubina provided a shutout inning of relief in the eighth, pitching around a leadoff double and error on a sacrifice bunt.

Andrew Massey (single), Isaac Carrel (hit by pitch) and Douglas (walk) all reached safely in the bottom of the eighth to load the bases with two outs but once again the Panthers buckled down and did not allow a run.

Skubina used just nine pitches to sit down Eastern Illinois in order in the ninth. However, UT Martin could not get a baserunner aboard in the bottom half of the inning.

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