CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team suffered their third consecutive setback on Sunday afternoon, as they fell to defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Southeast Missouri 13-4 in game-three of the weekend series. The Skyhawks jumped on the board early but were matched by a strong showing in the early innings from the Redhawks.
UT Martin pushed across the game’s first run in the top of the first when Connor Aube opened the contest with a double down the left field line. The freshman from Falmouth, Maine then stole third and was brought home by a Tanner Wessling sacrifice fly. For Wessling, it was his tenth RBI on the year and the tally put UT Martin in front 1-0.
The Redhawks responded quickly with four runs on four hits in their half of the first inning, highlighted by a two-run home run from Tristen Gagan to put the home team ahead 4-1. Southeast Missouri tallied an additional run in the third on a sacrifice fly from Gagan to give the Redhawks the early 5-1 lead.
UT Martin fought back in the fourth inning with a run of their own. After back-to-back singles by Wessling and catcher Keylen Steen, Ryan Helgren singled through the left side to trim the margin to 5-2. SEMO again answered quickly with two more runs in their half of the inning to extend the lead back out to 7-2.
The fifth inning proved to be the decisive frame as Southeast Missouri scored five runs on five hits in the bottom half of the fifth to separate from the Skyhawks and put them on top 12-2. SEMO then added an additional run in the sixth to round out their scoring and give the Redhawks the 13-2 advantage.
The eighth inning started with walks from Creighton Eldridge and Tyler Albright before Wessling was hit by a pitch to give the Skyhawks the bases loaded with no one out. Steen bounced into a double play to score one and Helgren singled home Albright in the inning, but it was not enough as the Redhawks closed out the 13-4 victory.
Lefty Kyle Laberge (0-1) took the loss in his first career start for the Skyhawks tossing four innings and striking out two. Robert Beltran (1-2) picked up his first victory of the year for SEMO.
Helgren (3-4, two RBI’s) finished as the leading hitter for UT Martin, while Aube (3-5, one run) also contributed offensively for the club.
After some scheduling changes, the Skyhawks return to action on Tuesday as they travel to Evansville with a showdown with the Purple Aces. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. For all up-to-date scheduling information please visit www.UTMSports.com.