JACKSON, Tenn. – An early inning push by the home team’s offense resulted in a 12-6 loss for the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team, as they dropped its first of two mid-week decisions to Union on Tuesday night.
After a quiet first inning from the Skyhawk bats, Union (30-16) was able to push across two runs in the bottom half of the inning on a pair of hits to give the Gulf South Conference opponent a 2-0 lead.
UT Martin (17-21, 7-11 OVC) put their first run of the game on the board in the top of the fourth on an RBI-single from senior Tanner Wessling. The shot up the middle extended the hitting streak for the senior right fielder to 13 games and scored Tyler Albright from second base, who had doubled earlier in the inning, to trim the margin to 2-1 in favor of Union.
It was the Bulldogs who responded with a game-changing bottom half of the inning, as Union scored five runs on six base hits to extend their lead to 7-1. The home team managed another pair of runs in the next inning to give the home squad a comfortable 9-1 advantage.
The Skyhawks fought back in the sixth inning with three runs of their own on two hits. The visitors loaded the bases in the inning with no one out. Centerfielder Creighton Eldridge scampered home on a wild pitch, followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ryan Helgren, and an RBI-groundout from Wessling for his second of the day and 24th of the season. The trio of runs pulled UT Martin closer 9-4.
Josh Hauser picked up an RBI-double in the seventh and Dan Kerwin drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the eight, but that was all the offense the Skyhawks could manage, as Union tacked on three more runs in the later innings to earn the 12-6 victory.
Jake Patzner (1-4) got the start for UT Martin and was hit with the loss. Tommy Weiler (1-1) earned the victory for the Bulldogs.
At the plate, Albright (2-4, three runs), Wessling (2-4, two RBI’s), Eldridge (3-4, one run) and Hauser (2-4, one RBI) all notched multiple hits in the losing effort.
UT Martin will look to bounce back tomorrow night, as the Skyhawks play host to Alabama A&M. First pitch from Skyhawk Field is slated for 6 p.m.