April 8, 2017

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MARTIN, Tenn. – Trailing 5-1 heading into the bottom half of the sixth inning, the University of Tennessee at Martin offense exploded to the tune of eight runs in their final three at-bats to knock off Ohio Valley Conference foe Morehead State 9-5 on Saturday afternoon.

The Skyhawks scattered out seven hits in the final three innings, as the middle part of the order consisting of Ryan Helgren, Dan Kerwin and Creighton Eldridge powered through the Eagle bullpen to give the home team the win.

“Those guys (Helgren, Kerwin and Eldridge) have been getting hits all season, they just haven’t come with runners on base,” said head coach Rick Robinson. “Today Helgren did a great job with three RBI’s, while Kerwin has been solid and Eldridge has really had a great series as well. We just want those guys to continue doing what they are doing and build on some of this momentum.”

It was Morehead State who was on the board early, as the visiting team picked up their first run of the series in the second inning when Trevor Snyder scored all the way from first base on an errant throw from UT Martin starting pitcher Peyton Cain to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead.

The Skyhawks battled back in the bottom half of the inning as Eldridge sent a shot deep into left-center for his second triple of the series. Tanner Wessling brought him home two batters later with a big triple of his own to knot the score 1-1.

Morehead State (22-9, 8-3 OVC) used their biggest offensive outburst of the weekend to take a 5-1 lead in the sixth, as the Eagles pushed across four runs on four hits in the inning.

UT Martin (11-16, 3-11 OVC) did not take long to respond as senior teammates Helgren and Kerwin went back-to-back in the bottom half of the sixth to trim the margin to 5-3. For Helgren, it was his fifth big fly on the season, while Kerwin’s shot was his second.

The Skyhawks tied up the ballgame just one inning later as the home squad scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. An RBI-single from Helgren brought home fellow senior Josh Hauser for the first run of the inning, while catcher Keylen Steen drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game 5-5.

However, the decisive inning came in the bottom half of the eighth as UT Martin scored four runs to take a commanding lead. Tyler Albright knocked in the go-ahead run on a single through the left side to give UT Martin the 6-5 advantage, followed by the third RBI on the day from Helgren on a single into right field. Albright scampered home on a wild pitch in the next at-bat and Steen was hit by an offering from Morehead State reliever Dom Masullo with the bases loaded to give the catcher his second RBI in as many innings and round out the scoring as the Skyhawks took game two 9-5.

Kyle Laberge (1-2) tossed two scoreless innings for UT Martin in the eighth and ninth and picked up his first victory in a Skyhawk uniform. Peyton Cain finished with five strong innings allowing just four earned runs and striking out two. David Calderon (0-1) took the loss for Morehead State.

Helgren (3-5, three RBI’s), Eldridge (2-2, three walks), and Albright (2-4, two runs scored) all notched multi-hit games for UT Martin while Kerwin, Steen and Wessling each picked up RBI’s in the victory as well.

The Skyhawks will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at Skyhawk Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.

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