MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team played on par with the Ohio Valley Conference leader through five innings tonight, but Belmont was able to piece together four late runs to claim a 4-0 win at Skyhawk Field.
Skyhawk starting pitcher Dan Tobik (1-4) put together one of his best starts of the season but unfortunately was hit with the loss. The senior righty out of Ballwin, Mo. went six innings, allowing just one run on five hits while fanning five batters. Senior Nick Wilson also pitched well out of the bullpen this evening, tossing 2.1 shutout innings with no hits or walks allowed with three strikeouts.
Offensively, seven Skyhawks compiled a hit tonight to allow UT Martin to outhit Belmont by an 8-7 margin. Ben Brewer had a pair of hits while Grant Glasser reached base three times (single, two walks) for UT Martin (8-21, 1-12 OVC).
“We have a lot of fight in us but most of the time we are fighting back,” Skyhawk head coach Bubba Cates said. “Sometimes you have to throw the first punch. We had a chance in the first inning and had some other chances to change the scope of the ballgame but we just couldn’t get the big hit.”
After Tobik did not allow a hit in the top of the first, UT Martin had runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom half. However, the Skyhawks couldn’t push across the first run of the contest.
Tobik pitched around trouble in the second, hanging another zero on the scoreboard. After another shutout frame in the third, he received some help from Brewer in the fourth, as the senior catcher threw out a would-be basestealer to close out the inning and keep the game scoreless.
UT Martin’s defense came up big again in the fifth, turning an inning-ending 6-3 double play. In the bottom of the fifth, the Skyhawks put two more baserunners aboard but once again could not score the game’s first run.
Belmont (22-6, 9-1 OVC) used a leadoff double to eventually take a 1-0 lead after the top of the sixth. UT Martin once again had two runners on the basepaths but couldn’t tie the contest.
The Bruins would score three runs – all with two outs – in the top of the seventh to build its lead to 4-0. Back-to-back singles and an error opened the bottom of the seventh for the Skyhawks but UT Martin couldn’t cut into Belmont’s advantage.
Wilson then did not allow a ball out of the infield in the eighth before following that with a perfect ninth, capped off with a pair of strikeouts.
However, time ran out on UT Martin’s comeback attempt, as the Skyhawks could only muster a Brewer single in the ninth.
These two teams will play Game 2 of the three-game series on Saturday, April 6 at 3 p.m.