March 31, 2017

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RICHMOND, Ky. – Skyhawk seniors accounted for five of their six hits, but the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team was unable to find the tying run late, as it dropped game-one of the weekend series 3-2 against Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Kentucky.

The Colonels (15-12, 2-5) were the first on the scoreboard in starting pitcher Winston Cannon’s only rough inning on the night, as the home team pushed across three runs on two hits in the first to jump out to a 3-0 lead. An RBI-walk by Alex Holderbach and a two-RBI single from outfielder Nick Howie rounded out the scoring in the innings for Eastern Kentucky.

The score remained the same until senior captain Ryan Helgren came to bat to lead off the top of the fourth inning. The Columbia, Tenn. native launched his fourth bomb of the season over the centerfield wall to trim the margin to 3-1. The big fly was Helgren’s 16th RBI of the season and was the first baseman’s third in the last four games.

Shortstop Josh Hauser led off the top of the eighth inning with his third two-bagger of the night to spark a UT Martin (9-13, 1-9) rally. After Connor Aube reached on a fielding error and Helgren advanced both runners on a groundout, senior Tyler Albright lifted a ball deep enough to center to allow Hauser to tag-up and trim the margin to 3-2. With the tying run in scoring position, the Skyhawks were unable to push across the equalizer as they dropped the game-one decision.  

Cannon (2-1) settled in after the opening frame and dominated the Colonel lineup the rest of the night, but was hit with the loss. The freshman finished with 7.0 strong innings, including allowing just the three runs on six hits, and striking out six Eastern Kentucky hitters. Shane Seckinger relieved Cannon in the eighth and tossed a perfect frame to keep the Skyhawks within one.

Jack Piekos improved to 3-3 on the year for the Colonels picking up the win, while Caleb Johnson collected his fifth save.

Offensively, Hauser finished the contest 3-3 with three doubles to lead the Skyhawk bats, while Helgren (16) and second baseman Tyler Albright (18) accounted for the RBI’s.

These two teams return to the diamond tomorrow for an afternoon game. First pitch from Richmond, Ky. is scheduled for 1 p.m. 

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