MARTIN, Tenn. – Freshman Winston Cannon tossed a nearly flawless seven innings on Friday night as the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team shutout Ohio Valley Conference rival Morehead State 1-0 to take game one of the weekend series.
The Skyhawk offense pushed across the game’s lone run in the fourth inning and that is all the Cookeville, Tenn. native needed as he mixed in timely breaking balls to keep the prominent Eagle offense off the scoreboard for the first time in OVC play.
“Winston has really thrown well in every game that he has started,” said head coach Rick Robinson. “Tonight he did a great job of keeping Morehead State off balance. They have a really good lineup and I just kept reminding him that they have yet to hit it hard off of you all night. He mixed his pitches well and did a great job for us tonight.”
Cannon shut down the Eagles through the first two innings before pitching into a jam in the third. With runners on first and second with just one out, the right-hander forced a ground ball off the bat of Eagle outfielder Michael Patrick as the Skyhawk defense turned the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
UT Martin (10-16, 2-11 OVC) pushed across the only run of the contest as centerfielder Creighton Eldridge laced a triple into deep left-center field to score Tyler Albright from second base and put the Skyhawks on top 1-0.
Cannon proceeded to shut down the next seven hitters he faced pitching strong all the way into the eighth inning. After surrendering a walk to Morehead State third baseman Eli Boggess to lead off the eighth, Robinson called on senior Alex Evans to come in and shut the door and that is exactly what the Mulvane, Kan. native did. Evans recorded the final six outs for UT Martin as the home team took game one 1-0.
Cannon (3-1) picked up his first collegiate OVC victory, finishing the night with 7.0 innings pitched, allowing just two hits and striking out five batters. Evans (3) picked up the save, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings and punching out three.
Eldridge (3-4, one double, one triple, one RBI) finished the game just one home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Connor Aube (2-2, one walk) also reached base three times for the UT Martin offense.
These two teams head back to Skyhawk Field for game two tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.