OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team matched the No. 27 team in the nation pitch-for-pitch for the majority of today’s contest before Ole Miss scored five runs in the final two innings for a 6-0 win at Swayze Field.
The Skyhawks received an inspired start on the mound out of redshirt senior Alex Boshers. Making his first appearance since having Tommy John surgery in March 2013, the Nashville, Tenn. native tossed four innings while allowing just two hits and one earned run. He retired the first eight batters he faced but was tagged with the loss after his lone run allowed scored on a wild pitch in the third inning.
Jackson Zarubin accounted for 1.2 innings of shutout ball in his season debut this evening. John Skubina (0.1 innings, one unearned run) and Chris Ross (two innings, four runs) also made appearances tonight for UT Martin (0-4), who has either led or been within two runs after seven innings of play in all four games in 2014.
Offensively, freshman Chase Young reached base three times (single, two walks) to lead the Skyhawks. Nico Zych also successfully reached base twice in four plate appearances today.
Ole Miss (4-0) was led by multi-hit efforts out of Auston Bousfield and Austin Anderson, while Dalton Dulin scored a pair of runs. Rebel starting pitcher Jacob Waguespack earned the win after throwing four scoreless innings while on a pitch count.
UT Martin was close to breaking the game open in the first inning. Fletcher Johnson drew a five-pitch walk to lead off the game and moved up to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Young. Jake Deason then followed with a walk and after a Phil Sorensen single, the bases were loaded with only one out. However, Waguespack got out of trouble with an inning-ending double play.
Boshers then shut down the Rebels until a two-out single in the third inning gave Ole Miss its first baserunner of the game. Three batters later, the Rebels took a 1-0 advantage on a wild pitch before Boshers recovered to keep the Skyhawk deficit at one run.
In his final inning of work, Boshers pitched around a one-out double to strand a pair of runners in the fourth inning and keep UT Martin within striking distance.
Zarubin needed only seven pitches to breeze through a perfect fifth inning. He then departed the game with a pair of baserunners aboard in the sixth before Skubina came on to record the third out.
Ole Miss would add one run in the seventh and four runs in the eighth to go on top by a 6-0 margin. Young and Zych would each single in the top of the ninth to keep the Skyhawks’ hopes alive but Rebel reliever Jeremy Massie bounced back to finish out the inning.
Weather permitting, UT Martin will open its 2014 home schedule this weekend when it plays host to Eastern Michigan. First pitch times for the series are set for 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.