February 17, 2017

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UNION CITY, Tenn. – Dan Kerwin launched a solo homer in the sixth inning, but the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team could not overcome three critical errors in its 10-2 loss to Buffalo on opening day.

Both offenses struggled early despite each team having chances to break the scoreless draught. Redshirt sophomore Dom Bazzani pitched around a first inning error to leave a Buffalo runner at third. The lefty stranded another two runners in the second inning and worked out of trouble leaving the bases loaded full of Bulls in the third. After surrendering a couple of walks, the Stockbridge, Ga. native forced Bulls slugger Andrew Taft into a weak ground ball to get out of the inning.

Bazzani found more trouble in the fourth, loading the bases, but this time Buffalo capitalized. Ben Haefner’s double down the right field line plated all three Buffalo baserunners to give the Mid-American Conference foe a 3-0 lead. The Bulls tacked on two more runs in the inning to claim the 5-0 lead.

A dropped fly ball led to two more runs in the sixth inning for Buffalo as UT Martin fell behind 7-0. Kerwin’s bomb in the bottom half of the inning put the Skyhawks on the board and trimmed the margin to 7-1. However UT Martin could not manage more than the one run.

Buffalo broke through again in the top of the ninth using two walks, a single from Alex Thrower and a sacrifice fly from Vinny Mallaro to plate three more runs. Skyhawk freshman Anthony Adduci led off the bottom half of the ninth with a double down the left field line. Three batters later, second baseman Tyler Albright drove in Adduci with a single through the left side. UT Martin failed to score again en route to the 10-2 defeat.

Alex Tuohy (1-0) pitched five scoreless innings for the Bulls to earn the win. Bazzani (0-1) took the loss for the Skyhawks throwing 96 pitches in 3.2 innings. Lefty reliever Sam Folks struck out three Buffalo hitters and did not allow a run in 1.2 innings out of the bullpen for UT Martin.

The two programs will meet again on the diamond tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. The two remaining games in the series will also be played at Elam Stadium at L.H. Ladd Field in Union City.

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