MARTIN, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team goes back on the road when it squares off against the Evansville Purple Aces for a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 18. First pitch for Game 1 from Braun Stadium is set for 4 p.m., with Game 2 to follow at approximately 6:30 p.m.
This midweek series was originally scheduled as a single game but with the early season cancellation of games for both teams, the series was changed to a pair of seven-inning contests. The Skyhawks had a pair of games at Central Arkansas cancelled earlier this month while the upcoming March 25 home game against Victory University has also been cancelled.
UT Martin (2-15) is coming off a 6-5 win against Murray State last Saturday. In that game, the Skyhawks were led offensively by the late heroics of Taylor Douglas (3-for-4, three runs scored, two RBI’s) and Ben Upton (2-for-4, two RBI’s). Douglas became the first Skyhawk since 2011 to bang out three extra-base hits in a single game (two doubles and a homer) while Upton collected the go-ahead RBI’s in the bottom of the seventh to give UT Martin a lead they would not concede the rest of the way. Phil Sorensen also homered for the Skyhawks, who allowed zero earned runs thanks to stellar performances out of Alex Martin (5.2 innings, three hits, career-high seven strikeouts) and John Houston (3.1 innings, three hits).
Against Evansville, the Skyhawks are scheduled to start senior right-hander Chris Ross (0-1, 21.21 ERA) in Game 1, followed by a staff day in Game 2. This will be Ross’ first start of the season and team-high sixth appearance in 2014, as he made a pair of starts while making a team-high 19 appearances last season.
Evansville (8-6) split four close games in the Russmatt Central Florida Invitational last week, defeating Maine (9-7) and Northwestern (6-4) and falling to Bowling Green (4-2) and North Dakota State (9-8).
The Purple Aces’ offense is paced by Kyle Pollock’s .345 batting average while Kevin Kaczmarski and Josh Jyawook have driven in 15 and 13 runs, respectively.
Junior right-hander Matt Rodgers (2-0, 3.38) is slated to start Game 1 for Evansville, followed by freshman righty Brandon Kelley (0-0, 4.15) in the nightcap. Brent Jurceka (1-0, 0.00 ERA in six relief appearances) has been the Purple Aces’ main setup man for closer Sam Johns (1-0, 3.52 ERA, three saves).
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