NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pair of University of Tennessee at Martin pitchers held Ohio Valley Conference rival Belmont to just four hits this afternoon but the Skyhawk offense couldn’t manage a hit in a 3-1 loss at ES Rose Park.
UT Martin (3-25, 2-12 OVC) scored its run in the ninth inning after a pair of Belmont errors. With that said, the Skyhawks brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning before the Bruins escaped with their fifth straight win.
Junior lefty Dalton Potts kept Belmont off balance all afternoon, allowing just one hit over 5.1 frames. However, he did allow two runs and was tagged with the loss – falling to 0-5 on the season. Alex Boshers came on in relief and pitched well, conceding just one run while fanning three batters over 2.2 frames.
Offensively, Ben Upton broke up Belmont’s no-hit bid while Fletcher Johnson scored the Skyhawks’ run in the ninth. Taylor Cox also reached base twice via a walk today.
UT Martin put a man in scoring position in the top of the first, as Taylor Douglas drew a two-out walk and later stole second. However, Belmont starter James Buckelew got out of the jam.
Potts kept the Bruins off the scoreboard in the first before breezing through the second frame – retiring the side on only 10 pitches. However, Belmont would take a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the third thanks to an RBI triple and sacrifice fly.
The Skyhawk offense once again showed signs of a big inning in the fourth but came up short. Johnson was issued a leadoff walk and later swiped second base. Cox also drew a walk later on in the inning to put two runners aboard the basepaths but UT Martin couldn’t generate the big hit.
Potts pitched out of trouble in the fourth and erased a two-out walk with a pickoff in the bottom of the fifth.
After two of Belmont’s first three batters reached base in the sixth, Boshers was summoned from the bullpen. Boshers came out firing strikes, as he recorded a pair of punchouts to keep the score at 2-0.
Belmont would get back on the scoreboard in the seventh but Boshers did his best to minimize the damage, holding the Bruins to one run.
Upton then reached on an error to lead off the eighth and advanced to second base courtesy of a sacrifice bunt by Max Balter. However, the Skyhawks couldn’t push across a run.
Boshers needed only eight pitches to get through a perfect eighth, swinging some momentum in UT Martin’s direction. Johnson reached on an error and Cox followed with a two-out walk. Nico Zych then reached on an error and Johnson came around to score. With the tying run at first base, Buckelew was then lifted for Bruin closer Greg Brody, who tallied his fifth save of the season.
The Skyhawks conclude the series on Sunday, April 6 at 1 p.m.