MARTIN, Tenn. – For the second time in a 24-hour span, the University of Tennessee at Martin used some late game heroics to claim a 9-8 walk-off victory. This time the Skyhawks pushed across the winning run on a bases loaded wild pitch, as UT Martin took the victory over Christian Brothers.
Very similar to last night, UT Martin found themselves down by three runs late in the game but battled back to tie the contest, before ultimately finding a way to capture their second straight dramatic win.
“I think the most important thing from tonight is just being resilient and finding a way to win the ballgame,” said head coach Rick Robinson. “For us to come from behind and win again at home is always a plus at this stage of the season. We’ve played well at home, but we have to make these plays now when we head back on the road this weekend.”
UT Martin (14-20, 4-11 OVC) found the scoreboard first with a four-run outburst in the first inning. Keylen Steen picked up his fourth RBI in a two-day span with an RBI-single through the right side. The Chehalis, Wash. native’s base hit also loaded the bases for the Skyhawks and brought up lefty slugger Creighton Eldridge. The center fielder did not disappoint as he drilled his team-high fifth triple of the season deep to center field to clear the bases and give UT Martin the 4-0 lead.
The Skyhawks picked up another run in the third inning as Eldridge knocked in his fourth RBI on the night with a sacrifice fly that scored UT Martin right fielder Tanner Wessling and push the UT Martin lead to 5-0.
Christian Brothers (13-30, 7-20 Gulf South) showed their resiliency in the top half of the fifth inning, as the Buccaneers took advantage of three Skyhawk errors in the inning to push across five runs of their own and tie the game at 5-5.
The Buccaneers took their first lead of the game just one inning later as the visiting squad posted three more runs, including a two-run homer from catch Riley Kilgore, to claim the 8-5 lead.
Josh Hauser picked up a huge RBI-single in the sixth to trim the Bucaneer margin. It was the shortstop’s ninth RBI on the season and it brought his squad one run closer 8-6.
Wessling came to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning and launched his first home run of the season at a time his team needed it most. His two-run shot scored Ryan Helgren and brought the Skyhawks even 8-8. It was Wessling’s first big fly of his senior campaign.
The Skyhawks loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, when in stepped freshman Connor Aube for his second chance to walk-off for UT Martin in as many nights. This time the freshman from Falmouth, Maine did not even have to take the bat off his shoulder as an errant pitch from Buccaneer reliever Taylor King brought home Dan Kerwin, as the Skyhawks earned the 9-8 decision.
Alex Evans (5-4) came on for the second straight night and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the winning decision. King (1-3) was saddled with the loss for Christian Brothers. Jake Patzner started the game for UT Martin tossing 4.1 innings, allowing just three earned runs and striking out six batters.
Wessling (3-5, three runs, two RBI’s), Kerwin (2-4, two runs), Eldridge (2-4, four RBI’s) and Hauser (2-4, one RBI) all had multiple hits in the winning effort.
UT Martin will now hit the road, as it returns to Ohio Valley Conference play with a three-game set this weekend at SIU-Edwardsville April 21-23.