April 19, 2014

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MOREHEAD, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team kept it close this afternoon but could not prevail in a 6-4 loss at Ohio Valley Conference rival Morehead State.

The Skyhawks (4-33, 3-18 OVC) led 2-0 after the top of the fourth but Morehead State answered with six unanswered runs over the next three innings. UT Martin would respond with two runs in the top of the seventh but could not trim its deficit any further than that.

Freshman Ben Upton concluded his stellar series with another monster effort at the plate, tying a career-high with three hits to go along with two RBI’s and a run scored. The Kingwood, Texas native also homered for his team-leading fourth round-tripper of the season.

Nico Zych also had two hits, a run scored and an RBI while Jake Deason drove in a run for UT Martin. Taylor Cox and Nick Molina also scored a run apiece to lead the offense.

On the hill, Alex Martin allowed three earned runs over 4.1 innings but fell to 0-7 on the season. Alex Boshers came on in relief and pitched well, conceding just one run over 3.2 innings of work.

The Skyhawks managed three hits in the top of the first but could not manufacture a run. Chase Young, Taylor Douglas and Ben Upton each singled but all three were left stranded on the basepaths.

Morehead State (21-18, 10-8 OVC) would single to open the bottom of the first but Martin needed just seven pitches to get through the inning, inducing a flyout and 6-4-3 double play.

UT Martin also had a pair of baserunners aboard in the top of the second but couldn’t get on the scoreboard. Martin relied on the double play ball once again in the second, as a 4-3 double play groundout ended the inning.

Martin continued his groove in the third, as he only conceded a meaningless two-out walk on his way to another shutout frame.

The Skyhawks got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Molina led things off with a double to right center and came around to score when Zych lined a sharp single to center. Zych would then steal second and later advance to third on a wild pitch, setting up Deason for an RBI single that made the score 2-0.

UT Martin’s lead would not last long, as the Eagles scored three runs (two earned) in the bottom half of the fourth. Morehead State had three hits and took advantage of another Skyhawk error in the fifth to go on top by a 5-2 margin.

Morehead State would add another run on an RBI groundout in the sixth but UT Martin would get two runs back in the seventh. Cox roped a leadoff double into the gap in left center to ignite the rally. After working the count full, Upton found his pitch and pulverized a homer to right field to pull the Skyhawks within two runs at 6-4.

Boshers then made quick work out of Morehead State in the seventh and also posted a shutout frame in the eighth to give the Skyhawks an opportunity to win the game.

Upton reached on a two-base fielding error to start off the ninth and Molina followed with a walk to bring the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs. However, the Eagles escaped with a double play and game-ending strikeout.

The Skyhawks open up a seven-game homestand with a midweek outing against Saint Louis on Tuesday, April 22. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

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