WESTFALL SHUTS DOWN SIUE TO CAPTURE FIFTH STRAIGHT CONFERENCE WIN
April 22, 2017
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Redshirt junior Dalton Westfall tossed his best game in Ohio Valley Conference play on Saturday afternoon, as the University of Tennessee at Martin captured a 3-1 victory over SIU Edwardsville.
The Buckhannon, W.Va. native stymied the Cougar lineup all day to the tune of eight innings, allowing just one run. For head coach Rick Robinson, it was great to see the big righty return to his early season form.
“Westfall was great today in the eight innings he pitched,” said Robinson. “It was nice to get on the board early with Tyler Albright’s homer and then the offense was picked up by Ryan Helgren’s three hits to give us the charge we needed to finish the game.”
UT Martin (16-20, 6-11 OVC) was first on the board, as junior second baseman Tyler Albright launched his second home run over the left field wall in the first inning to put the Skyhawks ahead 1-0.
SIUE (17-20, 6-13) struggled offensively, as Westfall sat down the Cougars in order in both the first and second inning and worked around a walk in the third, but did not surrender a hit through the opening three frames.
The Skyhawks padded their lead in the fourth as they pushed across two runs on three total hits. Dan Kerwin extended his hitting streak to a stellar 16 games with an RBI-single, followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior Josh Hauser to give UT Martin the 3-0 advantage.
That run support was more than enough for Westfall, who did not surrender his first run until the bottom half of the eighth inning. The Cougars put one in the board, but that was all the home team could manage as the Skyhawks claimed their fourth straight victory overall, and fifth straight OVC win.
Westfall (4-4) finished the contest with 8.0 innings pitched, allowing just the lone run in the eighth, and striking out another 11 hitters to improve his season total to 68. Peyton Cain (1) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to earn his first save of the season. Brock Fulkerson (2-5) was hit with the loss for SIUE.
The Skyhawk bats were led by Ryan Helgren (3-4, one run). Albright, Kerwin and Hauser were the UT Martin hitters responsible for the RBI’s on the night.
UT Martin will look to complete their second consecutive conference sweep tomorrow afternoon when they try to take all three games from the Cougars. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.