CHARLESTON, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team played Eastern Illinois through six innings this afternoon but a three-run bottom of the seventh resulted in a 5-3 Panther win at Coaches Stadium.
The Skyhawks (11-40, 4-26 Ohio Valley Conference) outhit Eastern Illinois by a 12-11 margin today. Sonny Mastromatteo tied a career-high with three hits with an RBI today, while Nico Zych also laced three hits and scored twice for UT Martin. Grant Glasser and Kyle Bargery each drove in a run, while Matt Haynes scored once and Taylor Cox added two hits to lead the Skyhawks offense.
On the mound, sophomore starter Dalton Potts (4-7) went 6.1 innings, allowing four earned runs while fanning five. Carter Smith also made an appearance, working 1.2 scoreless innings.
Eastern Illinois scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first, but Potts retired the side in order on only 10 pitches in the second. He then fired another scoreless inning in the third before the Panthers went ahead 2-0 courtesy of a solo homer in the fourth.
UT Martin’s offense fought back to tie the game in the top of the fifth. Zych and Haynes opened the frame with back-to-back singles and were advanced 90 feet off a sacrifice bunt by Drew Erie. Glasser and Mastromatteo then followed with clutch two-out RBI singles to even the score at 2-all.
Potts kept Eastern Illinois off the scoreboard in the fifth. The Skyhawks loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth but couldn’t take the lead. Potts then needed just 10 pitches to get through the sixth, ringing up a called strikeout for the third out of the inning.
The Skyhawks received a pair of singles in the seventh but once again stranded both runners without pushing across a run.
Eastern Illinois then generated three runs in the seventh to go on top 5-2 but UT Martin would get one run back in the eighth. Zych singled through the left side to lead off the inning, then swiped second for his seventh stolen base in as many attempts on the season. Erie then singled to put men on the corners and Bargery followed with an RBI fielder’s choice to make the score 5-3.
After Smith kept the score at 5-3 by shutting out the Panthers in the bottom of the eighth, UT Martin could not get a baserunner on in the ninth to start a rally.