March 9, 2014

Boxscore     PDF

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team outhit Jacksonville State this afternoon but it wasn’t enough, as the Skyhawks dropped a tough 6-4 decision to the Gamecocks at Rudy Abbott Field.

UT Martin piled up a season-high 11 hits today and at one point held a 3-1 lead but couldn’t hang on for the win. Nico Zych, Taylor Douglas and Jake Deason each had two hits and an RBI this afternoon while Kenny King scored and drove in a run for the Skyhawks. Phil Sorensen, Zack Malone and Max Balter also crossed the plate today for UT Martin (1-13, 0-3 Ohio Valley Conference).

Alex Martin (0-3) allowed four runs over 4.1 innings and was saddled with the loss today. Taylor Cox (two runs in 2.2 innings) and Stu Jones (one perfect inning) also made appearances on the mound for the Skyhawks this afternoon.

Martin pitched around trouble in the bottom of the first and although UT Martin would piece together back-to-back singles in the second, the Skyhawks could not strike first on the scoreboard.

Jacksonville State scored one run off a sacrifice fly in the second but the Skyhawks stormed back with three runs on six hits in the top of the third. Balter led things off with a single to left center and after a sacrifice bunt successfully moved him up to second base, Zych stung the first pitch he saw for a single up the middle to score Balter and tie the game at 1-1. Sorensen then doubled but Zych was thrown out at the plate trying to score. King, Malone and Douglas then accounted for three straight singles to give the Skyhawks the 3-1 advantage.

The Gamecocks would get one run back in the third but Martin bounced back to retire the side in order in the fourth. Jacksonville State took a 5-3 lead after a three-run fifth inning and added its final run of the day with one run in the sixth.

UT Martin had a runner on third with one out in the top of the seventh but could not manufacture a run. Cox shut down Jacksonville State in the bottom half of the frame, allowing the Skyhawks to get another run back in the eighth. Malone drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on a clutch two-out double off the bat of Deason, his second two-bagger of the game.

Jones needed only seven pitches to get through a flawless eighth. Unfortunately, the Skyhawks could not get a baserunner aboard in the top of the ninth, as Preseason OVC Pitcher of the Year Travis Stout notched his fifth save of the season.

UT Martin plays its first home weekend series of the season on March 14-16 when it hosts OVC rival Murray State at Skyhawk Field.