NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team gave No. 2 Vanderbilt all it could handle early tonight, but the Commodores pulled away late for a 10-3 win at Hawkins Field.
After Vanderbilt (30-4) struck first with a run in their first at-bat, the Skyhawks came right back with a run in the top of the second to tie the game. The Commodores added another run in the bottom of the second but UT Martin once again showed its resiliency, evening the score at 2-2 after the top of the fourth. However, Vanderbilt would score seven runs over the next two innings on its way to the win.
Matt Haynes had a pair of hits and drove in two runs to lead UT Martin (9-23) this evening. Brent Morris tallied two hits and scored twice, Grant Glasser collected a pair of hits and scored a run and Wade Collins registered his team-leading 25th RBI for the Skyhawks tonight.
Six Skyhawks saw action on the mound tonight. Making his first start of the season, Chris Ross (3-2) pitched well early but took the loss after allowing six runs off five hits in 3.1 innings. John Skubina (one inning), Cody Miller (0.1 innings), Trevor Lundgrin (0.1 innings), John Houston (two innings) and Jordan Stokes (one inning) all made relief appearances for UT Martin.
After a sacrifice fly gave Vanderbilt the 1-0 lead, Morris served as the catalyst for UT Martin in the top of the second. He ripped a two-out single through the right side, then advanced to second and third on a pair of wild pitches. On a 3-1 pitch, Haynes dropped a single into center to make the score 1-1.
The Commodores scored one more run in the second but the Skyhawks avoided any further damage when right fielder Byron Johann picked up an outfield assist at the plate.
Ross then kept Vanderbilt off the scoreboard in the third, needing just 10 pitches to retire the side in order thanks to three groundouts.
With momentum on UT Martin’s side, the Skyhawks were once again led by the combo of Morris and Haynes in the fourth. Morris found the gap in right center for a two-out triple and three pitches later, Haynes went opposite field for a single to right to tie the score at 2-all.
Vanderbilt then compiled four runs in the fourth and three runs in the fifth to take a 9-2 advantage. Houston put a halt to the Commodore offense in the sixth, retiring the side in order on only seven pitches.
In the seventh, Vanderbilt tacked on an unearned run but the Skyhawks got that run back in the top of the eighth. Glasser pulled a one-out double into right field and advanced to third on a single by Matt Young. Collins then laced a double out to right to plate Glasser and move Young up to third base. After a Morris walk loaded the bases, Vanderbilt pitcher Adam Ravenelle escaped the jam.
Stokes then put on an impressive performance in the bottom of the eighth, racking up a pair of strikeouts while firing his first eight pitches for strikes in a 1-2-3 inning.
Ben Brewer reached base on a two-out walk in the ninth, but the Skyhawks couldn’t get a rally going.
UT Martin continues its five-game road trip with an Ohio Valley Conference weekend series at Eastern Kentucky on April 12-14.