CONWAY, Ark. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team slammed a season-high five home runs this afternoon at Central Arkansas, but the Bears used a big seventh inning to defeat the Skyhawks 16-8 at Bear Stadium.
Thanks to back-to-back round trippers in the top of the seventh, UT Martin (10-30) took a 7-6 lead with nine outs remaining toward a big nonconference victory. However, Central Arkansas scored 10 runs in the seventh inning and never looked back.
Grant Glasser went yard twice and added a walk to go along with three runs scored to pace the Skyhawks, who also received homers out of Nico Zych, Byron Johann and Matt Haynes. Zych went 3-for-3 with two runs scored while Drew Erie also added an RBI for UT Martin.
On the mound, freshman left-hander Chris Flores made his first career start today. He allowed just one run over two innings but received a no-decision. Cody Miller (scoreless bottom of the eighth) made a shutout appearance tonight, while John Houston fell to 1-6 after allowing seven runs over four innings.
Flores got out of a jam in the bottom of the first, ending the inning with a 1-2-3 double play on a comebacker to the mound. UT Martin then took a 1-0 lead in its next at-bat. Three consecutive singles by Zych, Hagen Nelson and Erie tilted the score in the Skyhawks’ favor.
Flores used another double play in the second to keep the lead on UT Martin’s side. Central Arkanas then broke through for a run in the bottom of the third and three more in the fourth to lead 4-1.
In the top of the fifth, Glasser smoked a solo homer out to left center for his first home run of the season. The Bears tacked on two runs in the bottom of the fifth but UT Martin answered right back with two runs of its own in the sixth. Taylor Cox drew a one-out walk then came around to score after Zych muscled up for a two-run shot to make the score 6-4.
Houston shut out Central Arkansas in the sixth, allowing the Skyhawks to take another lead in the top of the seventh. Glasser drew a one-out walk to lead off the frame and four pitches later, Johann deposited a homer to left center to tie the game at 6-all. Haynes then jumped on a 3-2 pitch out to left field for a solo homer that resulted in a 7-6 UT Martin advantage.
However, Central Arkansas pushed across 10 runs in the bottom of the seventh to quickly reclaim the lead. The Skyhawks did add one more run in the top of the eighth off yet another long homer by Glasser, just his second of the season. Unfortunately, that would ultimately conclude UT Martin’s offensive attack.
UT Martin steps out of conference play this weekend when it hosts Missouri Valley Conference rival Indiana State on April 26-28 at Skyhawk Field.