NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Wednesday afternoon saw the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team put together one of its most complete performances of the season as the Skyhawks took down Lipscomb 7-3. It was just the third ever win for UT Martin when taking on the Bisons in Nashville.
The Skyhawks (7-7, 0-3) pushed across runs in both the first and second innings in the wire-to-wire victory in which UT Martin pounded out 12 hits and did not record an error defensively. Head coach Rick Robinson was pleased with the well-rounded showing by his squad.
“It was a great team effort,” said Robinson. “We pitched well, did a great job of hitting with runners in scoring position and did a good job defensively.”
The Skyhawks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as freshman Connor Aube continued his strong play of late with a leadoff double to left-center. After centerfielder Creighton Eldridge was hit by an offering from Bisons’ starter Alex Dorso and a Tyler Albright sacrifice bunt, cleanup hitter Tanner Wessling singled home the game’s first run with a shot to centerfield. For Wessling it was his eighth RBI on the season to give UT Martin the 1-0 advantage. Designated hitter Anthony Adduci then knocked in Eldridge to push the Skyhawk lead to 2-0 after one inning.
UT Martin used a little small ball to extend its lead in the second. Senior Ryan Helgren led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a Josh Hauser sacrifice bunt. Aube then notched his second hit in as many innings pulling a shot into left field to score Helgren and put the Skyhawks up 3-0.
JoJo Allen’s second double of the season propelled the UT Martin offense in the fourth as the third baseman doubled down the left field line to bring home Helgren for his second run scored off the day. The extra-base hit pushed across Allen’s third RBI of the season and extended the lead to 4-0.
Another offensive outburst, combined with a pair of Bison errors, helped spark a Skyhawk rally in the fifth. Albright and Wessling both reached on errors to start the inning as both runners advanced a base on another well executed sacrifice bunt from UT Martin. This time Adduci gave himself up to give the Skyhawks runners on second and third with just one out. Albright scampered home on a wild pitch in the next at-bat and senior Dan Kerwin got in on the action with a sacrifice fly to center to put UT Martin further ahead 6-0.
Jake Patzner got the nod for UT Martin tossing a strong two innings to keep UT Martin in front. The Desoto, Mo. native combined with freshman Winston Cannon to open the game with five straight innings without allowing a single Lipscomb hit.
The Bisons finally broke through in the sixth with three runs on their first three hits of the ballgame. Cade Sorrells and Michael Gigliotti both recorded RBI-singles in the inning for Lipscomb (8-8) to cut the Skyhawk lead to 6-3.
UT Martin racked up three hits and tallied an insurance run in the eighth as Adduci continued the stellar day for the UT Martin freshman with an RBI-single to left-center to drive in Albright and give the Skyhawks the 7-3 lead. Relievers Kyle Laberge (1.1 innings) and Peyton Cain (2.0 innings, two strikeouts) combined to shut the door on Lipscomb and give UT Martin the victory.
Cannon (2-0) picked up his second victory and as many appearances in his young Skyhawk career, as Dorso (1-1) took the loss for Lipscomb. Aube (2-6, one RBI), Wessling (2-5, one RBI), Helgren (2-3, two runs scored) and Hauser (2-4) each notched multi-hit games in the winning effort.
UT Martin continues their road swing with a three-game set against defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Southeast Missouri beginning this Friday, March 17. First pitch from Cape Girardeau, Mo. for Friday’s contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.