MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team fell behind early and couldn’t complete a comeback in a 13-8 loss to Tennessee Tech at Skyhawk Field.
Brent Morris and Matt Haynes continued their hot stretches at the plate, each banging out three hits for UT Martin (8-15, 1-7 Ohio Valley Conference). Morris drove in a pair of runs, joining Wade Collins (three RBI, two runs scored) and Byron Johann (two RBI, two runs scored) with multi-RBI performances this afternoon. Grant Glasser also reached base four times (2-for-3, two walks), scoring three times with an RBI for the Skyhawks today.
On the mound, starting pitcher Taylor Cox was charged with the loss after conceding four earned runs in 0.2 innings. John Skubina (3.1 innings, one run), John Houston (3.2 innings, seven strikeouts, two earned runs) and Chris Flores (1.1 perfect innings, two strikeouts) also helped UT Martin compile 13 strikeouts this afternoon.
“We got behind early but we had time to chip away,” UT Martin head coach Bubba Cates said. “We had to take it a couple innings at a time. We scored a few runs and got back in it but Tennessee Tech’s pitcher hung in there. We’ve been getting plenty of hits, we just need them to be a little more timely.”
Tennessee Tech (17-6, 7-1 OVC) opened the game with eight runs (four unearned) in the first inning, but the Skyhawks got three runs back in the bottom half of the first. Glasser and Johann led off with walks and Collins ripped a three-run homer out to deep right center for his third round tripper of the season.
Skubina held the Golden Eagles scoreless in the second and third innings but Tennessee Tech would score one run off a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth to go on top 9-3. The Golden Eagles added two runs in the top of the fifth before UT Martin scored once in the bottom half, as an RBI single by Morris plated Collins, who had reached on a walk.
The Golden Eagles tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth before Houston and Flores combined to hold Tennessee Tech scoreless over the final three frames.
UT Martin scored once in the seventh, as Morris drove in Glasser with yet another RBI single to make the score 13-5. In the bottom of the eighth, the Skyhawks used the long ball to get even closer. With two outs, Glasser singled home Sonny Mastromatteo, followed by Johann crushing a 1-0 pitch beyond the left field wall for a two-run shot. It was Johann’s second homer of the season and extended his hitting streak out to 10 games.
The Skyhawks would receive a one-out double off the bat of Haynes in the ninth but time ran out on UT Martin’s comeback attempt.
These two teams will conclude its series on Sunday, March 24 at 1 p.m.