LATE INNING RUN COSTS BASEBALL TEAM IN 5-4 LOSS AT MURRAY STATE
MURRAY, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team displayed a balanced offensive attack this afternoon, but a Murray State run in the bottom of the seventh proved to be the difference in a 5-4 Skyhawk loss at Reagan Field.
Senior outfielders Grant Glasser and Byron Johann each went 2-for-3 with a walk today out of the top two spots in the lineup for UT Martin (7-10, 1-3 Ohio Valley Conference). Glasser scored two runs while Wade Collins drove in a pair of runs out of the No. 3 hole. Senior third baseman Matt Haynes also homered to lead the Skyhawk offense, which provided at least one hit in eight out of nine spots in the lineup.
On the mound, senior right-hander Dan Tobik allowed just four hits while striking out eight over six innings but received a no-decision. Junior reliever Chris Ross (2-1) was charged with his first loss of the season, conceding one run in two innings of work.
Tobik’s first two innings were clean, allowing the Skyhawk offense to take a 2-0 lead in the third. Glasser drew a two-out walk then swiped second base to get the rally started. Johann then followed with a walk, setting up Collins for a double to deep center field that plated both Glasser and Johann.
However, Murray State answered with three runs in the bottom of the third and one more in the bottom of the fourth to claim a 4-2 lead after four complete innings of play.
The Skyhawks would even the score in their next at-bat. Haynes led off the top of the fifth with a homer out to left center, his first round-tripper of the season and second of his career. Two batters later, Glasser went the opposite way for a double to left center and came around to score when Johann fought off a tough 0-2 pitch for a single up the middle.
Tobik fanned two in the bottom of the fifth and retired the side in order in the sixth to end his afternoon. UT Martin would get a man in scoring position with one out in the top of the seventh but couldn’t bring him in.
The Thoroughbreds opened the seventh with back-to-back singles and eventually took the 5-4 lead on an RBI groundout. The Skyhawks also piled up back-to-back singles in the eighth but couldn’t find a way to manufacture a run.
Ross tossed a scoreless eighth for UT Martin and the Skyhawks once again placed a pair of runners on the basepaths with back-to-back singles in the ninth. However, UT Martin couldn’t come away with the big hit to tie or take the lead.
Because of heavy rains in the forecast for Sunday, these two teams will wrap up the series with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 16. Action will begin at 11 a.m.