MARTIN, Tenn. – On the day the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball recognized its six seniors, the Skyhawks dropped an 8-5 decision to Ohio Valley Conference foe Jacksonville State on Saturday afternoon.
Prior to the contest the coaching staff and fans recognized Alex Evans, Josh Hauser, Ryan Helgren, Dan Kerwin, Jake Patzner and Tanner Wessling for their contributions to UT Martin.
Neither team was able to manage much offense in the first two innings, as each starting pitcher (Dalton Westfall for UT Martin and Pate Colton for Jacksonville State) shut down their opposition in the first couple of frames.
It was the Gamecocks who were on the board first as the visiting squad picked up a run to take the early 1-0 lead. UT Martin (23-27, 10-16 OVC) responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning, as catcher Keylen Steen drilled a ball to deep center field to bring home Wessling for an RBI-double to even the score 1-1.
Jacksonville State (27-22, 14-12 OVC) broke the game open in their half of the fifth inning. The Gamecocks totaled five runs in the frame on four hits and two UT Martin errors to earn the 6-1 advantage.
The senior class stepped up in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Skyhawks tallied four runs to trim the deficit to just one. Connor Aube picked up an RBI-fielder’s choice, while Tyler Albright drove home a run on an RBI-single up the middle. The hottest UT Martin bat, Kerwin, then drilled a ball deep over the left-center wall for a two-run shot and his ninth big fly of the year to pull the Skyhawks within one, 6-5.
However, the Gamecocks picked up two insurance runs in the eighth inning and then stymied the UT Martin offense through the final two frames to earn the 8-5 victory in game two.
Westfall (5-5) finished the contest with 6.0 innings pitched, allowing six earned and striking out three in the loss. Sam Folks tossed 1.1 innings of relief and Shane Seckinger also threw 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball for UT Martin. Pate Colton (2-6) earned the win for the Gamecocks as Justin Hoyt (8) picked up his second save of the series.
At the plate, Kerwin (3-5, one homer), Albright (2-5, one RBI), Wessling (2-5, one run) and Hauser (2-4) all notched multiple hits in the contest for the Skyhawks. The senior class combined for seven hits and two RBI’s in the contest.
UT Martin will conclude its home potion of the schedule tomorrow afternoon in game three against Jacksonville State at Skyhawk Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.