RICHMOND, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team scored three runs in the top of the seventh to tie Eastern Kentucky this afternoon, but four Colonel runs in the bottom of the eighth proved to be the difference as Eastern Kentucky claimed a 7-3 win at Turkey Hughes Field.
UT Martin’s three runs in the seventh were courtesy of a three-run homer by Matt Young, his second longball of the season and second in the last five games. Young would later add his first triple of the season, while Brent Morris also added a pair of hits for the Skyhawks. Byron Johann and Matt Haynes also crossed the plate for UT Martin (9-25, 2-15 Ohio Valley Conference).
Sophomore left-hander Taylor Cox gave a valiant effort on the mound for the Skyhawks today, tossing a career-high seven innings while allowing just two earned runs. He fanned five batters against one walk but received a no-decision. Chris Ross (3-3) received the loss for UT Martin after allowing four runs in 0.2 innings.
Eastern Kentucky scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first but Cox soon settled down. From the third inning through the fifth, he retired nine out of 10 batters at one point, sitting down the Colonels in order on nine pitches in the fifth.
The Colonels would add a run in the sixth to go ahead 3-0 but Cox recovered to strike out the final batter in the inning to strand runners on second and third.
UT Martin then tied the contest with a big seventh inning. Johann led things off with a single up the middle, followed by a one-out walk by Haynes. Young then hammered a 2-2 pitch beyond the left field wall to get the Skyhawks on the scoreboard. Nico Zych then ripped the next pitch for a one-out triple but UT Martin couldn’t manufacture a run to take its first lead.
Cox pitched around a Colonel baserunner on third with one out to produce another scoreless frame in the seventh. However, Eastern Kentucky would tack on four runs in the eighth and the Skyhawks couldn’t cut into their deficit in the top of the ninth.
UT Martin will look to salvage the final game of the series tomorrow when these two teams meet at noon CST.