March 23, 2017

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team returns home this weekend for a three-game series against Ohio Valley Conference foe Belmont. First pitch from Skyhawk Field is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, March 24, while start time for Saturday, March 25 is set for 3 p.m., followed by an afternoon start time of 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 26.

This weekend marks UT Martin’s 67th – 69th all-time meeting with Belmont in a rivalry that dates all the way back to 1957. The Bruins have seen more success of late in the series holding an all-time record of 40-26 over the Skyhawks, while taking the last four meetings. The in-state opponents will renew their rivalry this weekend in Martin, where the Skyhawks own a 16-14 record over Belmont when the two squads meet on Skyhawk Field.

UT Martin is coming off one of their best offensive outputs on the season, as the Skyhawks cranked out 12 hits en route to a 12-4 decisive victory over Evansville. Tanner Wessling has quietly put together a solid start offensively for UT Martin, as the Kent, Wash. native knocked in four runs on Tuesday including the decisive three-run triple to put the Skyhawks in the lead for good. In addition to Wessling, Connor Aube has been one of the hottest bats for UT Martin, as the freshman from Falmouth, Maine has been stellar through his first six OVC games. Ever since being inserted into the leadoff position against Tennessee Tech, Aube has racked up a conference batting average of .480, while also posting an on-base percentage of .567.

The Skyhawk pitching rotation will be looking for a bounce back weekend coming off a trio of setbacks last week at defending OVC champions Southeast Missouri. After a blistering start to 2017, including ranking in the top-10 in Division-I in six statistical categories through six games, the UT Martin staff has battled through some recent struggles in conference play. Dalton Westfall (2-2, 2.97 ERA) remains the squad’s ace, while Peyton Cain (0-1, 5.29 ERA) and Alex Evans (2-2, 4.97 ERA) have been key contributors out of the Skyhawk bullpen.

The Bruins are also looking to bounce back as they dropped a 17-11 decision to Southeastern Conference powerhouse Vanderbilt on Wednesday night. Belmont is led offensively by redshirt-freshman Matt Cogen. The outfielder is hitting .361 on the year, smacking nine doubles and driving in nine runs. Senior catcher Nick Egli has also been solid in the Bruin lineup hitting .351, while belting a team-high four home runs.

Belmont is expected to send out Tyler Vaughn (0-4, 5.62) on Friday, Dylan King (2-2, 3.77 ERA) on Saturday and Connor Etheridge (2-0, 3.65 ERA) for Sunday’s matchup.

Fans can tune into WUTM 90.3 FM at the link on the top of the page to listen to the live broadcasts from UT Martin’s award-winning student radio station. 

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