April 11, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team fell 9-1 to Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky this evening at Skyhawk Field.

After waiting out a 1:15 rain delay, the Colonels scored a pair of runs in each of the first two innings to take a lead and never look back.

The Skyhawks (3-28, 2-14 OVC) tallied seven hits tonight, led by yet another multi-hit effort by junior outfielder Taylor Douglas (2-for-3 with a walk). The Holladay, Tenn. native amassed his team-high 12th multi-hit performance of the season and sixth in his last eight contests.

Freshman Andrew Massey also accumulated his first career multi-hit game tonight, going 2-for-4. Max Balter reached base twice (single, walk) and tallied an RBI while Chase Young scored UT Martin’s run.

On the mound, starter Taylor Cox fell to 0-8 on the season after allowing three earned runs in one-plus inning. Carter Smith came in and pitched well for the most part, surrendering four runs over six innings. Chris Ross followed with the final two frames, allowing one run.

Eastern Kentucky (16-18, 6-7 OVC) took advantage of early Skyhawk walks and errors to take a 4-0 advantage through two innings.

Douglas ripped a double in the bottom of the first and would eventually advance to third but UT Martin couldn’t get on the scoreboard.

Smith entered from the bullpen in the second inning and induced a double play and flyout to keep the Skyhawks within striking distance. Smith then needed just eight pitches to retire the side in order in the top of the third.

Massey led off the bottom of the third with a double to the wall out in right center. Nico Zych was then hit by a pitch and after a Drew Erie sacrifice bunt, the Skyhawks had a pair of baserunners in scoring position with one out. However, Eastern Kentucky would escape the jam to keep the score at 4-0.

The Colonels were once again kept off the scoreboard in the fourth thanks to a strikeout and double play induced by Smith. Eastern Kentucky would add one run in the fifth and three more in the sixth before Smith gutted out a scoreless seventh.

UT Martin once again put two runners aboard the basepaths in the seventh, as Zack Malone and Massey each singled. Zych then lined a shot into the right field corner that had extra-bases written all over it before Colonel defensive replacement Shea Sullivan tracked the ball down on a full sprint.

The double play was once again UT Martin’s friend in the eighth, as Ross used one to get out of the top half of the frame unblemished.

The Skyhawks got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth. Young drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Douglas then was issued a free pass and Malone was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Balter then grinded out a walk, bringing in Young to make the score 8-1.

Eastern Kentucky added an insurance run in the top of the ninth and the Skyhawks would not have a baserunner in the bottom half.

These two teams will meet in Game 2 of the series on Saturday, April 12 at 3 p.m.

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