MARTIN, Tenn. – With inclement weather threatening in the evening forecast, the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball earned a 12-2 victory over Alabama A&M in a shortened seven-inning game on Wednesday afternoon.
Left-handed freshman Sam Folks picked up his first career start for the Skyhawks and was the difference as he handled the Bulldog lineup with relative ease throughout the day.
“Folks did a great job tonight,” said head coach Rick Robinson. “He was doing a good job of throwing strikes and in particular getting his breaking ball and changeup over the plate. Anytime you are able to throw multiple pitches for strikes, you’re going to be successful and Folks did that today.”
UT Martin (18-21, 7-11 OVC) gave the young lefty some early run support as they pushed across four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Skyhawks tallied five total hits, all singles, in the frame, including RBI-base knocks by Tyler Albright, Tanner Wessling, Dan Kerwin and Anthony Adduci to give the home team the early 4-0 advantage.
The Skyhawks extended their lead in the fifth inning with a three-run outburst. Senior Ryan Helgren came home on a wild pitch, followed by Adduci’s second RBI-single on the day and Ben Aslett’s one-run basehit to left to extend UT Martin’s lead to 7-0.
Alabama A&M (10-36) picked up their first run of the game in the sixth inning, before the Skyhawks shut the door for good when they came to bat. The second four-run inning on the day from the home team stretched the lead to double-digits. Kerwin picked up his second extra-base hit on the night with an RBI-double to left-center, while Adduci brought home his third run of the game with a sacrifice fly. Aslett capped off the inning, with his career-high third RBI of the game, with a double to deep left-center to drive in two runs and give UT Martin the 11-1 advantage.
Both the Skyhawks and the Bulldogs exchanged a single run in the seventh, thanks to a pinch-hit RBI-double from freshman Robert Worley, which ultimately ended the contest after seven innings, to give UT Martin their sixth victory in its last seven games by a 12-2 margin.
Folks (1-0) tossed a solid 6.0 innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out seven en route to his first collegiate victory. Konnor Aherin tossed one inning in relief for UT Martin to close out the game. Owen Stubberfield (0-2) took the loss for Alabama A&M.
At the plate, Kerwin (4-4, three runs, two RBI’s) led the way, while Aslett (3-4, three RBI’s) and Adduci (2-3, three RBI’s) were also big contributors in the Skyhawk offense.
UT Martin will return to action with a crucial three-game series at home against Ohio Valley Conference rival Austin Peay beginning this Friday, April 28 at 6 p.m. With more severe weather in the forecast, check back with www.UTMSports.com for all changes and updates throughout the weekend.