SKYHAWK BASEBALL DROPS HIGHLY CONTESTED DOUBLEHEADER AGAINST TENNESSEE TECH
March 10, 2017
Boxscore (Game One) PDF (Game One) Boxscore (Game Two) PDF (Game Two)
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball squad struggled to find a crucial hit in the late innings in both contests against Tennessee Tech (11-5, 3-0) on Friday afternoon, as the Skyhawks dropped a pair of games 4-3 and 9-6 to Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee Tech. UT Martin (6-7, 0-3) was plagued by a combined 24 total runners left on base in the losses.
Game One – Tennessee Tech 4, UT Martin 3
Redshirt junior Dalton Westfall got the start in game one of the doubleheader and was up to his usual ways. The 6-6 righty struck out two Golden Eagles in the first inning to start the contest. However, Westfall found some trouble in the second inning as Tennessee Tech pushed across three early runs. After Westfall surrendered a pair of walks to open the inning, Chase Chambers singled up the middle to drive-in the game’s first run. The Golden Eagles notched another run when the Skyhawks turned the 6-4-3 double play to minimize the threat, but a sharp groundball by Tech third baseman Cody Littlejohn in the following at-bat knocked in another run and put the Golden Eagles up 3-0.
The Skyhawks answered with a run of their own in the third inning thanks to some solid base running. Josh Hauser led off with a single to spark the UT Martin rally and after Creighton Eldridge walked, Hauser swiped third base to put himself in prime scoring position. Second baseman Tyler Albright then hit a sharp ground ball to second to drive in Hauser and trim the margin to 3-1.
Freshman standout Connor Aube ignited the Skyhawks in the fifth lacing a double into left field. Eldridge’s fly out advanced Aube to third, before Albright picked up his second RBI of the contest with a sacrifice fly into shallow right field to get UT Martin within one, 3-2.
The Skyhawks tied the contest in the sixth as Hauser again was the catalyst to kick-start the UT Martin offense. His RBI-single to right knocked in catcher Keylen Steen to even the contest at 3-3. Tech answered quickly as Kevin Strohschein singled home what was the decisive run of reliever Alex Evans in the top of the seventh to give the Golden Eagles the 4-3 victory. The Skyhawks were unable to find the tying run as they left a pair of runners on base in both the seventh and the eighth innings in the loss.
Westfall finished the game with 6.0 innings tossed, allowing just the three runs and three hits, while striking out eight. Evans (1-2) was hit with the loss after going 3.0 innings and surrendering just the one run. Ethan Roberts (1-0) picked up his first win of the season for Tennessee Tech.
Offensively, Steen (2-4, one run scored) and Hauser (2-4, one RBI) were the only Skyhawks to pick up two hits in the game, while Albright (1-4) finished with a pair of RBI’s.
Game Two – Tennessee Tech 9, UT Martin 6 (10 innings)
The drama continued in the second contest as redshirt sophomore Dom Bazzani took the mound for the Skyhawks. Tech jumped out to an early lead as cleanup hitter Ryan Flick singled home a run to give the Golden Eagles the 1-0 lead. A solo shot off the bat of Flick in the third extended the lead for Tennessee Tech to 2-0.
UT Martin notched its biggest offensive output of the day in the third inning, as the Skyhawks piled up three runs to take the lead. Anthony Adduci’s single into left field plated two runs for UT Martin to even the score 2-2. Two at-bats later, freshman Robert Worley hit a towering sacrifice fly to right to score Adduci and give the Skyhawks their first lead of the day, 3-2.
Tennessee Tech was able to answer again with a three-run homer in the fifth off the bat of catcher Chris Brown to put the Golden Eagles back in front 5-3. UT Martin could not capitalize in their half of the fifth as the Skyhawks stranded the bases loaded.
The sixth inning was a different story for the UT Martin bats as they stormed back to tie the game. Worley hit a double to deep left field to open the inning and was followed by a walk from Hauser. Two hitters later, Albright hit a clutch double to drive in both Worley and Hauser and even the score at 5-5.
Tech used some small ball to tally the go-ahead run in the seventh as Collin Harris singled and stole second base before being knocked in by a Matt Jones single to retake the lead 6-5. The resilient Skyhawks again tied the game in the eighth when Aube used an infield single to get on. A sacrifice bunt from Eldridge and another infield hit from Albright advanced Aube to third, before The Falmouth, Maine native scampered home on a wild pitch from Kit Fowler to tie the score 6-6 and push the game into extra innings.
However, the Golden Eagle offense was too much as they tallied four hits to push across three runs in the 10th to takedown the Skyhawks 9-6. Peyton Cain (0-1) pitched a solid 5.1 innings striking out six batters, but was saddled with the loss after running into trouble in the 10th. Fowler (1-1) earned his first win of the year in relief duty for Tennessee Tech, while Golden Eagle reliever Ty King (1) picked the save.
Albright (4-6, two RBI’s), Aube (2-5, one run scored) and Worley (2-4, one RBI) each collected multiple hits in the extra inning loss for UT Martin.
The Skyhawks return to action on Wednesday, March 15, as they make their first trip to the Music City this season to take on Lipscomb. First pitch from Nashville is scheduled for 6 p.m.