BASEBALL TEAM FALLS 8-5 IN BACK-AND-FORTH AFFAIR AT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI
March 28, 2013
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Tonight’s University of Tennessee at Martin and Southeast Missouri baseball game featured three lead changes and two ties, but four Redhawk runs in the bottom of the sixth led to an 8-5 Southeast Missouri win at Capaha Field.
For UT Martin (8-17, 1-9 Ohio Valley Conference), Byron Johann wasted little time extending his 12-game hitting streak tonight, doubling in the top of the first inning. The senior outfielder ended his night going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored, while senior Wade Collins added a pair of RBI today. Sophomore Nico Zych also hit his first career home run and Brent Morris scored a run for the Skyhawks, who held leads of 4-3 and 5-4 in the middle innings.
On the mound, senior starting pitcher Dan Tobik (1-3) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs in 5.1 innings. He struck out five batters to raise his team-high total to 43. Junior relievers Chris Ross (1.2 innings) and John Skubina (one inning) each provided scoreless outings for UT Martin.
Tobik sat down the Redhawks in order in the bottom of the first, ending his inning with a pair of strikeouts. A two-out double by Southeast Missouri in the bottom of the second resulted in a 1-0 Redhawk lead, but UT Martin responded with a run in its next at-bat.
Johann singled up the middle with one out in the top of the third, advancing to third on a single by Morris. On the next pitch, Collins skied a deep sacrifice fly out to left to plate Johann and even the score at 1-1.
Tobik registered two more strikeouts in a perfect third, but Southeast Missouri tacked on two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.
The Skyhawks then took their first lead of the game in the top of the fifth. After two quick outs, Johann smoked a double over the centerfielder’s head to start the rally. Morris then drew a four-pitch walk and Collins smacked an opposite field double down the left field line to score Johann. Two straight wild pitches then resulted in a 4-3 UT Martin advantage heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Southeast Missouri tied the score at 4-all in the bottom of the fifth, but the Skyhawks reclaimed the lead thanks to Zych’s longball in the top of the sixth. The Monee, Ill. native reached out on a 2-1 pitch to launch the ball beyond the right field wall for an opposite field blast.
However, the Redhawks’ four runs in the bottom of the sixth gave Southeast Missouri a lead it would not relinquish. The last two runs came with two outs on a bases loaded double but a Johann relay throw that was cut off by Collins and fired home ended the Redhawk rally.
Ross then retired the side in order in the seventh, while Skubina pitched around a leadoff single in the eighth thanks to Drew Erie throwing out Southeast Missouri’s would-be basestealer.
Meanwhile, UT Martin would bring the tying run to the plate in the eighth and would get the leadoff man on base in the ninth but couldn’t push across any more runs.
Because of rain in the forecast tomorrow, these two teams will play the second game of their three-game set at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 29.