April 1, 2014

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team competed throughout this evening but No. 5 Vanderbilt claimed a 5-0 win at Charles Hawkins Field.

The Skyhawk pitching staff held the high-powered Commodore offense to just one scoring inning tonight but Vanderbilt made its five-run fourth inning last. All in all, the UT Martin pitching staff conceded only one earned run this evening.

UT Martin relievers Carter Smith, Alex Boshers, Stu Jones and John Houston did a remarkable job of limiting Vanderbilt (24-6). Those four combined to toss 4.1 scoreless innings while allowing only three hits.

Starting pitcher Chris Ross (0-3) pitched well early but ran into trouble in the fourth. All in all, the senior from Pembroke Pines, Fla. allowed just one earned run in 3.2 frames but was tagged with the loss.

Offensively, Taylor Douglas pieced together his team-best eighth multi-hit performance of the season, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Ben Upton also reached base twice (single, walk) to pace UT Martin (3-23).

Back-to-back two-out singles by Douglas and Taylor Cox provided the Skyhawk offense some life in the top of the first but UT Martin could not strike early.

Ross stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the first and pitched around a two-out walk to keep Vanderbilt off the scoreboard in the second. He also did a masterful job in the third, working around a leadoff double to keep the game scoreless through three frames.

Vanderbilt’s lone scoring inning came in the fourth. A pair of errors helped the Commodores push across five runs before Smith stranded the bases loaded by inducing an inning-ending groundout.

Smith then made short work of Vanderbilt in the fifth before Boshers accounted for a scoreless sixth.

UT Martin placed a pair of runners on the basepaths in the top of the seventh. Andrew Massey pinch hit with one out and drew a walk. Two batters later, Kenny King delivered a pinch-hit single to put baserunners on first and second but the Skyhawks couldn’t get a clutch two-out hit.

Jones erased a leadoff single with a pick off and cruised from there in a shutout seventh. Houston then came on and pitched well, ending the inning with a flyout double play where centerfielder Fletcher Johnson threw out a runner trying to tag up going from first to second base.

However, the Commodore pitching proved to be too much for the Skyhawks, as UT Martin could not get a rally going in the top of the ninth.

The Skyhawks return to action this weekend (April 4-6) when they travel back to Nashville to take on Ohio Valley Conference rival Belmont.

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