CANNON SHINES IN SEASON DEBUT BUT SKYHAWKS COME UP SHORT IN DOUBLEHEADER AT TROY
February 17, 2018
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TROY, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball squad suffered a sweep on the day as the Skyhawks dropped both ends of a doubleheader, losing 10-4 in Game 1 and falling 6-2 in Game 2 to the Troy Trojans.
On the day, Anthony Adduci tallied a team-high three hits while Casey Harford pounded out two hits (including a home run) and racked up three RBI’s. Both Blake Davis and Ben Aslett had a pair of hits combined in the twinbill.
The Skyhawk pitching staff saw promise as Jefferey O’Doherty tossed an inning of shutout baseball in Game 1 while Winston Cannon twirled a quality start and Konnor Aherin threw for 1.1 innings of near-perfect work in the nightcap.
UT Martin will look to salvage the fourth and final game of the season-opening set on Sunday, Feb. 18. First pitch for the Skyhawks against Troy is scheduled for 1 p.m.
In the first game of the day, UT Martin was led by offensively by Aslett (two hits), Davis (two hits) and Harford (one hit, three RBI’s). On the hill, O’Doherty provided a scoreless inning out of the bullpen in his Skyhawk debut.
The Skyhawks looked to be in store for an early strike as Jordan Stoner led off the game with a hit by pitch. Aslett then singled to the right side, moving Stoner a bag over. Creighton Eldridge then moved his teammates over with a sacrifice bunt but run support would not prove to be in the cards for the inning.
UT Martin found the hot bat in the second inning as Davis belted a ground-rule double to left center field. Collin Edwards was then hit by a pitch, putting two men on base for Harford’s three-run dinger to left field, giving the Skyhawks a 3-2 advantage.
After Sam Folks (0-1) found his footing, the sophomore retired the side in his third frame of work. The UT Martin third inning saw Tyler Albright draw a walk and steal second base but could not be driven home.
O’Doherty came in during the fifth inning in relief of Folks to pitch a scoreless frame, including a strikeout.
The Skyhawk sixth inning was almost a breakout opportunity. Davis led off the frame with a single before Edwards bounced into a fielder’s choice. Edwards followed by swiping second base before moving to third on a Harford groundout. Stoner then legged out an infield single, plating Edwards and narrowing the score to 7-4. Aslett would then rip a single to move Stoner to third base but both runners ended up stranded.
Austin Buzick entered the game in the seventh inning, ringing up two Trojans in the frame. Buzick did concede a run in the eighth but he was able to record another strikeout in his Skyhawk debut.
The Troy offense was held off the scoreboard in all but one inning, but that one frame proved costly to UT Martin as all six runs crossed the plate in the seventh inning. Cannon’s six quality innings allowed the Skyhawks to lead for most of the game as he did not allow an extra-base hit and tallied five strikeouts along the way. The offense was led by Adduci (two hits, one RBI) and Eldridge (one hit, one RBI, two walks).
UT Martin would yet again attempt to get off on the right foot as Stoner was nailed by a pitch and later swiped second base to lead off the game. Later, Eldridge drew a walk before Adduci laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over but it was to no avail.
Cannon came out ready for work as he forced a flyout and recorded a pair of whiffs in the first inning.
Following another shutout frame by Cannon, the Skyhawks would get on the scoreboard first in the top of the third as Stoner drew a walk, Harford singled and Eldridge doubled down the third base line, plating Stoner and giving UT Martin a 1-0 lead. Adduci then singled to right center, scoring Harford and putting the Skyhawks up by a 2-0 margin.
Cannon took advantage of the run support, shutting down Troy in each of the next four innings. He stranded a pair of Trojans on the basepaths in the third and fourth frames before retiring the side in order in the fifth. Following a hit batsman to begin the bottom of the sixth, the sophomore righty from Cookeville, Tenn. mowed down the next three hitters to keep the Skyhawks in front by a 2-0 margin.
Following a pair of walks to lead off the seventh inning, Cannon departed the game and was replaced by Zack Denney (0-1). Troy used that momentum to push across six runs on three hits and two UT Martin errors in the frame, taking its first lead of the game in the process.
Aherin produced a scoreless inning in the eighth as the Skyhawk offense got a runner on board in both the eighth and ninth innings. However, UT Martin could not manufacture any more offense to trim its deficit.
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