May 5, 2013

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team fell in heartbreaking fashion this afternoon at SIU Edwardsville, losing 3-2 on a walk-off infield single with two outs in the 10th inning.

The game was a pitching duel throughout, as the game was scoreless through seven innings. UT Martin starter Dalton Potts pitched one of his best career games, allowing just two runs while setting new career-highs in innings pitched (eight) and strikeouts (eight). Carter Smith (0-4) then pitched a scoreless ninth before the Cougars pieced together the win in the 10th.

At the plate, Grant Glasser (2-for-4, walk) reached base safely three times and scored a run to lead the Skyhawks (10-33, 3-21 Ohio Valley Conference). Byron Johann (2-for-4, RBI) and Hagen Nelson (2-for-4) both tallied multi-hit outings, while Sonny Mastromatteo scored once and drove in a run as well.

Glasser roped a one-out double on the first pitch of the game, but UT Martin could not bring him in. Potts pitched around back-to-back singles by SIU Edwardsville to open the bottom of the first to keep the game scoreless.

Potts soon found his groove, retiring 10 straight from the third through sixth innings. He recorded a pair of strikeouts in the fourth, retired the side on only four pitches in the fifth and racked up two more strikeouts in the sixth to keep the Skyhawks in the contest.

After the Cougars hit a leadoff double and sacrificed the runner over to third with one out in the seventh, Potts executed perfect pitches to keep SIU Edwardsville off the scoreboard. The southpaw out of Greenfield, Tenn. struck out the next batter then induced a flyout to right field to keep the score at 0-0 through seven.

UT Martin then broke through in the top of the eighth for the first two runs of the game. Kyle Bargery started the rally with a bunt single with one away, followed by a Glasser single. Mastromatteo and Johann then followed with an RBI double and RBI single, respectively, to put UT Martin on top 2-0.

However, SIU Edwardsville answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to even the score. Smith sent the game into extra innings thanks to a pair of strikeouts and a pickoff in the bottom of the ninth.

The Skyhawks put a man in scoring position in the top of the 10th but couldn’t manufacture a run. Smith got two quick outs to begin the bottom of the 10th before hitting a batter. A double then followed to put runners on second and third. On a 1-2 pitch, SIU Edwardsville’s Matt Highland sent a grounder to third but beat out the throw on a bang-bang play to end the game.

UT Martin returns to action on Tuesday, May 7 when it travels to Nashville to take on Lipscomb at 6 p.m. The Skyhawks will look for a season sweep of the Bison, as UT Martin defeated Lipscomb 4-3 at home on March 12.