RICHMOND, Ky. – For the first team all season, the University of Tennessee at Martin failed to score, as it fell to Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky 3-0 in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. UT Martin (9-15, 1-11 OVC) left a total of ten runners on base as they struggled to find a key hit in the loss.
Both starting pitchers were in control early, as they each held their opposition scoreless in the first three innings. Peyton Cain got the nod for the Skyhawks and sat down nine out of the first 11 hitters he faced. The Hickory, Miss. native cruised through the first three before finding trouble in the bottom half of the fourth inning. The Colonels tallied two runs on three hits in the inning, including a solo big fly from the NCAA’s leader in home runs Ben Fisher to give EKU the 2-0 lead. The Colonels tacked on additional run in the fifth on an RBI-single from Nick Howie to extend their lead to 3-0.
The Skyhawks threatened in the sixth, as freshman Robert Worley reached first on a walk, followed by designated hitter Anthony Adduci being hit by an offering from Colonel reliever Brian Mroz to give UT Martin runners at first and second. However, the visiting team was unable to push across either baserunner as the score remained a three-run spread.
Senior Alex Evans relieved Cain in the bottom of the sixth and shut down the Eastern Kentucky lineup the rest of the way. The Skyhawks hoped to climb back into the contest but could not string together hits to find an answer for the Colonel bullpen, as UT Martin left a runner on in each of the last three innings en route to the 3-0 defeat.
Despite tossing a strong 5.2 innings, including striking out three batters, Cain (0-2) was saddled with the loss. Evans had one of his strongest showings of 2017 holding Eastern Kentucky scoreless through 2.1 innings and only allowing one hit. Alex Hamilton (4-0) picked up the victory for the Colonels as Caleb Johnson (6) picked up his second save of the series.
Offensively, Tyler Albright reached base three times (2-4, one walk) as Dan Kerwin, Josh Hauser, Creighton Eldridge and JoJo Allen each notched hits in the loss.
The Skyhawks will look to rebound as they travel to Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt on Tuesday, April 4 in a mid-week matchup. First pitch from the Music City is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.