MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin scored the first five runs of its game against Evansville tonight and added three more late insurance runs in an 8-3 victory at Skyhawk Field.
Four Skyhawks tallied multi-hit games tonight, as Grant Glasser (two runs scored, RBI), Byron Johann (extended his hitting streak to eight), Luis Paublini (two runs scored) and Brent Morris (one run scored) all registered two hits apiece. Hagen Nelson drove in a pair of runs and scored a run in his first start of the season, while Nico Zych (two RBI) and Matt Haynes (two runs scored, RBI) also led UT Martin, who improved to 8-13 on the season.
Sophomore left-hander Dalton Potts moved to 3-2 on the season with two scoreless innings while maintaining a pitch count. John Skubina tossed a scoreless third inning, while Trevor Lundgrin (0.2 perfect innings), Carter Smith (four innings, two hits allowed, career-high six strikeouts) and Stu Jones (one inning) all chalked up scoreless outings for the Skyhawks.
“It was good to come out today and get a big win after such a tough game yesterday,” UT Martin head coach Bubba Cates said. “We got some runs early and after Evansville cut it to two we were able to manufacture some runs late to give us some breathing room and those runs proved to be important when you look at the final score.”
Potts used a big double play to help put up a shutout first inning, then retired the side in order in the second.
The Skyhawks registered three runs in the bottom of the second, starting with back-to-back singles by Paublini and Morris. Two quick outs followed before a two-out rally, beginning with an RBI single by Nelson. Zych and Glasser then amassed RBI singles to give UT Martin a 3-0 advantage.
After Skubina shut out the Purple Aces in the third, UT Martin compiled two more runs in the bottom half. Haynes doubled to right center to bring around Paublini while Zych drew the third straight walk of the inning for an RBI.
However, Evansville scored three runs in the top of the third to get back within striking distance at 5-3. Lundgrin came into the game with the bases loaded and one out but helped UT Martin hold on to the lead by dialing up a strikeout and inning-ending flyout.
Smith racked up a pair of strikeouts in both the fifth and sixth innings, keeping the score at 5-3 until the Skyhawks added one run in the sixth, seventh and eighth. Glasser doubled in the sixth and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch, while Nelson drove in his second run of the game off a fielder’s choice in the seventh. Glasser was solely responsible for the final run, as he turned a hit by pitch into two stolen bases and a throwing error to make the score 8-3.
Smith retired the side in order in the seventh and tacked on two more strikeouts in the eighth. Overall, the sophomore out of St. Louis, Mo. retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.
Jones then worked a scoreless ninth to lower his season ERA to 0.79 in 11.1 innings.
UT Martin wraps up a five-game homestand this weekend when it hosts Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech on March 22-24.