CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team held a 12-4 lead through five innings today at Raymond C. Hand Park but Austin Peay closed out the game with nine unanswered runs – including five in the bottom of the ninth – to claim a 13-12 win.
Chase Young set new career-highs with four hits and three runs scored today out of the leadoff spot while Phil Sorensen had a pair of hits, drove in a season-high four runs and scored once for the Skyhawks (9-38, 5-22 Ohio Valley Conference). Zack Malone and Nico Zych each drove in a pair of runs while Taylor Douglas (tied a career-high with three runs scored, one RBI), Ben Upton (two runs scored, RBI), Drew Erie (two hits, RBI) and Jake Deason (run scored, RBI) also guided the UT Martin offense today.
Five Skyhawks saw time on the mound today. Alex Martin started the contest and allowed four earned runs over 5.1 innings, followed by John Skubina (two runs in 1.2 innings), Jacob Gansert (one run in one inning), Stu Jones (four runs in 0.1 innings) and John Houston (one run in 0.1 innings). Houston was charged with the loss, falling to 3-2 on the season.
Austin Peay (21-31, 13-14 OVC) took a 3-0 lead after the first inning but Martin escaped a jam in the second inning to keep the deficit at three runs.
UT Martin then took a lead in the top of the third. Deason was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved up to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Mikey Nantze. Young then singled and stole second and Douglas followed with a walk to load the bases. Upton then drew a walk which plated Deason. Sorensen then reached on an error but was credited with an RBI to make the score 3-2. Malone was hit by a pitch to bring in another run and Zych followed with a fielder’s choice to score Upton and make the score 4-3.
Martin needed just 11 pitches to get through a scoreless third inning, setting the tone for another big Skyhawk inning in the top of the fourth.
Nantze and Young each singled with one away, setting up Douglas for an RBI single through the right side for an RBI. Upton then loaded the bases after a bunt single and Sorensen came through with a two-run single to give UT Martin a 6-3 edge. With two outs, Zych also dropped down a bunt single to plate Upton, followed by a single to right center off the bat of Erie to bring around Sorensen. Deason then roped a double in the gap out in left center to score Zych and make the score 10-3.
The Governors would get one run back with a solo homer in the fourth but Martin buckled down and avoided any further trouble by stranding a pair of Austin Peay baserunners.
In the top of the fifth, Young lined a single to center field and Douglas followed with a single to left that put a pair of baserunners aboard with two outs for Sorensen. The senior out of Erie, Pa. then drove a 2-0 pitch for a single to center to score Young and Malone followed with an RBI single to pad UT Martin’s lead to 12-4.
Martin pitched around back-to-back singles to post another zero on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth but Austin Peay took advantage of a Skyhawk error to score once in the sixth.
Austin Peay’s PJ Torres hit his second home run of the game – a two-run shot – in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 12-7. Another Governors’ solo homer in the eighth cut the Skyhawk lead to 12-8 and Austin Peay pieced together four hits while also scoring on a pair of walks and a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth to earn the series victory.
UT Martin plays the final road contest of the 2014 season on Tuesday, May 13 at Memphis. First pitch time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.