May 10, 2013

MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team pushed across four runs in the final three innings before falling to Ohio Valley Conference rival Austin Peay 9-5 at Skyhawk Field.

The Skyhawks (10-35, 3-22 OVC) were led by Sonny Mastromatteo and Hagen Nelson as the duo each notched two hits and an RBI in the ball game. Grant Glasser tallied two RBIs in the contest to round out the offensive output.

On the mound Dan Tobik (1-7) was charged with the loss despite posting dominating figures in the strikeout column. The Ballwin, Mo. product notched his second double-digit strikeout performance of the season, tallying 10 punchouts on the evening in just six innings of work. Tobik allowed just two walks and four earned runs.

John Skubina appeared in relief tossing 0.1 innings and allowing two runs to score. John Houston pitched the final 2.2 innings, striking out two and allowing just one earned run.

“We battled and did some good things throughout the ballgame, hit some good balls hard,” said UT Martin head coach Bubba Cates. “We were able to get the tying run to the plate and put ourselves in a good position. I thought we were able to command our pitches for the most part, being able to strike out 12 batters on a good team. Our kids played hard and fought til the end.”

The game got off to a rocky start as the visiting Governors drilled a three-run home run down the right field by the number three hitter in the lineup in the top of the first. Tobik then settled down, retiring nine consecutive batters and 11 of the next 12 Govs to dig into the box.

The Skyhawks got on the board in the bottom of the second after breaking into the hit column. Erie led the inning off with a double down the left field line, before ultimately being sacrificed by Kyle Bargery, moving Erie to third with one out. Glasser quickly responded by driving a line into center field, picking up his first RBI of the game as Erie crossed the plate.

The Govs would pick up subsequent runs which spanned the fifth through the seventh inning, pushing their advantage from two to seven, leading 8-1 after top the of the seventh.

UTM’s bats soon came to life as shortstop Nico Zych got the bottom of the seventh going as he roped a pitch into left field for a double. Nelson made Zych’s time on the bases quick, singling up the middle to score the runner from second.

The Skyhawks capitalized on an APSU mistake in the eighth inning to cut into the slimming lead. Bargery led off the inning with a single into left before swiping his second steal of the season, moving into scoring position. After advancing on a ground out, Bargery raced home to score on a wild pitch, bringing the game to an 8-3 score.

Despite giving up a run in the top half of the inning, the Skyhawks were far from finished. After Zych reached base on a Govs fielding error, Nelson picked up his second hit of the game with a double into left center. Glasser would sail a deep fly into right field for a sacrifice fly, scoring Nelson from third. Mastromatteo would then single into right field, scoring Wes Piersall for the final run of the game. The Skyhawks would send the potential tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but an infield pop-up sealed the APSU victory.

The Skyhawks will return to action tomorrow, Saturday, May 11 with Game 2 of three game series against Austin Peay. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.