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MARTIN, Tenn. – Coming off a perfect two-game homestand in which the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team earned two dramatic walk-off victories, the Skyhawks will now head back out on the road to resume Ohio Valley Conference play with a three-game set at SIU Edwardsville beginning on Friday, April 21 at 4 p.m. UT Martin will play game two against the Cougars on Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m., before capping off the set with a matinee game on Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m.
UT Martin (14-20, 4-11 OVC) will hope to build off some of the momentum it gained at home this week picking up come-from-behind victories over both Evansville and Christian Brothers. Their last time out in OVC play, the Skyhawks earned a huge sweep over one of the favorites in the conference, Morehead State.
SIU Edwardsville (17-18, 6-12 OVC) leads UT Martin in the all-time series 16-11. The Skyhawks will need to buck the current trend as they have always had a tough time winning at Roy E. Lee Field. UT Martin is just 2-10 when playing in Edwardsville, and will need to improve on that record in order to remain in OVC tournament contention.
Several Skyhawks have stepped up offensively in April, including senior Dan Kerwin. The Bradenton, Fla. native is in the midst of a team-high 14 game hitting streak. Tanner Wessling and Connor Aube each are hitting .333 this month, combining for 29 hits, including six doubles, three triples and 13 runs batted in.
Alex Evans has returned to form in the UT Martin bullpen picking up a pair of wins this week in two relief appearances. The lockdown righty reliever has improved his record to 5-4 and has struck out 43 batters thus far.
The Cougars are limping into this series, as they have now given up double-digit runs in six straight contests. SIUE dropped a midweek to Western Illinois on Tuesday and were swept by Morehead State last weekend. Offensively, Alec Skender will lead the charge in the Cougar lineup. The senior boasts the 16th best average in the conference (.360) while also scoring 34 runs on the year.
The SIUE pitching staff is led by right-hander Mason McReaken. The 5-10 junior has earned a 2-3 record this season, notching a 3.68 ERA and punching out 31 hitters along the way. Under the direction of first year head coach Sean Lyons, the Cougars have taken two-out-of-three from Murray State, Eastern Kentucky and Southeast Missouri this season in conference play.