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MARTIN, Tenn. – Due to the threat of inclement weather, the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team’s previously scheduled weekend series against Tennessee Tech has been adjusted. The series will now begin on Thursday, March 9 at 4 p.m. followed by a double-header on Friday, March 10 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Thursdays’s contest marks the 73rd matchup all-time between the two programs with Tennessee Tech holding a 48-24 record over the Skyhawks. The Golden Eagles were able to notch all three victories in last season’s series winning contests of 12-3, 10-2 and 5-3 in Cookeville. Dan Kerwin racked up three hits and two RBI’s for UT Martin in the series.
Redshirt junior Tyler Albright has cemented himself as one of the top offensive threats in the Skyhawk lineup. The Algonquin, Ill. native currently boasts a .463 batting average (first in the Ohio Valley Conference) and a .521 on-base percentage through 10 games this season. Albright has also racked up 19 hits, including five doubles, a triple and a three-run home run en route to 11 total RBI’s. Senior Tanner Wessling’s .429 batting average is currently ranked sixth in the OVC.
Newcomer Creighton Eldridge is proving to be a viable deep threat in every at-bat. The junior from Mansfield, Texas has tallied three home runs in the past four games, including a pair of three-run jacks on Tuesday night against Bethel. His nine RBI’s rank second on the team and his 18 total bases is tied for second despite the centerfielder missing the entire three-game series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff earlier in the year. Not to be overshadowed by his offensive prowess, Eldridge has already made several spectacular grabs in center on his way to a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
The Skyhawk pitching staff will look to continue their success in Martin as the trio of Dom Bazzani, Dalton Westfall and Jake Patzner look to build on their combined 4-1 home record. The three starters have notched a total of 63 strikeouts and have a collective ERA of 3.17 while holding opposing hitters to a .212 average.
The Golden Eagles are scheduled to take on Lipscomb in a mid-week game on Wednesday before traveling to Martin to begin OVC play. Tennessee Tech (8-4) opened the season with a four-game sweep of Mid-American Conference opponent Toledo and is led offensively by first team Preseason All-American selection Kevin Strohschein (.268 two homers, 10 RBI’s) and Collin Harris (.378 six homers, 11 RBI’s).
Tennessee Tech’s pitching staff has been solid so far in 2017. Right-handers Chase Burkett (2-1, 2.55 ERA), Jake Usher (1-1, 4.24 ERA) and Michael Wood (2-1, 4.26 ERA) have been the go-to starters on the mound for the Golden Eagles. As a staff, Tennessee Tech boasts a 4.00 ERA (best in the OVC) and have notched 102 strikeouts.