MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team jumped out to an early lead today against Central Arkansas but couldn’t hold the lead in a 16-4 loss in the final home game of the 2013 season.
Offensively, the Skyhawks (10-38) were led today by Grant Glasser, Taylor Cox and Drew Erie, who each tallied a hit and drew a walk. Glasser, Cox, Byron Johann and Nico Zych each scored a run while Hagen Nelson and Kyle Bargery were responsible for RBI’s this afternoon.
A total of five UT Martin pitchers saw time on the mound today, highlighted by a career-high four innings and four strikeouts by freshman Chris Flores, who allowed just one hit. Isaac Armstrong also tossed 1.2 shutout frames for the Skyhawks out of the bullpen today. Starting pitcher Trevor Lundgrin (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs in two-plus innings.
“It was a tough day,” UT Martin head coach Bubba Cates said. “We battled against a very good Central Arkansas team but it was just tough for us to score after the first inning.”
After Lundgrin retired the side in order in the top of the first, the Skyhawks pushed across three runs in the bottom of the first. Glasser led things off with a double to the gap in right center and advanced to third thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Sonny Mastromatteo. Johann and Cox then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for Nelson, who beat out an infield single to make the score 1-0. Johann and Cox would later score on a two-out error, providing a 3-0 Skyhawk advantage after one complete inning of play.
Central Arkansas (34-16) got one run back on a two-out single in the top of the second, then added six runs in the third before Nick Wilson picked up a pair of strikeouts to finish out the inning. The Bears pushed across one run in the fourth before Armstrong put a halt to the rally by inducing an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
UT Martin nearly sliced its deficit in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. However, Central Arkansas would bounce back with three consecutive outs to keep the score at 8-3.
The Bears then added six runs in the top of the fifth before Flores entered the contest. The 6-4 left-hander out of Southwest Ranches, Fla. sat down Central Arkansas in order in a perfect sixth.
Zych walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth and would soon swipe second base for his sixth stolen base in as many attempts this season. Bargery then ripped a 1-2 pitch for a two-out double to right center to plate Zych and get the Skyhawks back on the scoreboard.
Central Arkansas would add two more runs on a two-out homer in the top of the seventh but that would be the only mistake that Flores would make. He erased a harmless two-out walk in the eighth by picking the runner off and did not allow a hit while working a shutout ninth.
Meanwhile, UT Martin would get one-out hits in both the seventh and eighth innings but couldn’t generate another run the rest of the way.
The Skyhawks close out the 2013 season on May 16-18 at Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Illinois. All three games in the series are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.