The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team fought off an early deficit to tie tonight’s game at Southern Illinois before the Salukis offense took over the middle innings in a 16-5 Skyhawk loss at Itchy Jones Stadium.
Trailing 4-0 after the bottom of the first, the Skyhawks used a four-run top of the fourth to even the score. However, Southern Illinois then scored 11 runs over its next three frames to put the game out of reach.
UT Martin (4-30) was led once again by Taylor Douglas, who went 3-for-4 with a walk and pair of runs scored. Tonight’s performance was Douglas’ eighth multi-hit effort in the last 11 games as he has now raised his season batting average to a team-best .349.
Chase Young also posted his sixth multi-hit game of the season this evening, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a pair of RBI’s out of the leadoff spot.
On the mound, Chris Ross (0-4) was charged with the loss after allowing eight runs over four innings. A total of four relievers also saw time on the mound today, highlighted by a scoreless seventh inning by John Houston.
The game started out well for UT Martin as Young battled back from a 0-2 count to draw a leadoff walk. He then stole second base but would wind up not scoring in the inning.
The Salukis (19-17) then scored four runs in the bottom of the first but Ross recovered to throw up shutout frames in both the second and third, needing only seven pitches to get through the third inning.
UT Martin then evened the score in the fourth thanks to five hits in the frame. Taylor Cox roped a double into the gap in right center to lead off the inning and Douglas reached on an infield hit on the very next pitch. Nick Molina then singled to right field to load the bases with one out before Andrew Massey was able to draw a seven-pitch walk to make the score 4-1. Mikey Nantze then brought in Douglas with a single to shortstop and Young tied the game on the next pitch with a double that plated both Molina and Massey to tie the game up at 4-all.
However, Southern Illinois would score four runs in the fourth, four runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth to go on top by a 15-4 margin.
Douglas sparked a two-out rally in the seventh, as he lined a single into center with two away. Pinch hitter Isaac Carrel then walked and Zack Malone (who also pinch hit) singled down the right field line to make the score 15-5.
The Salukis added one more run in the bottom of the eighth to close out the game’s scoring.
UT Martin will return to Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend when it travels to Morehead State on April 17-19.