Junior shortstop Matt Hirsch reached base four times today for the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team but the Skyhawks fell 17-7 to Morehead State.
UT Martin (10-23, 5-13 Ohio Valley Conference) held a 3-1 lead after one inning of play but the Eagles scored at least three runs in four of the next six innings on the way to their 10th consecutive victory.
Matt Hirsch went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and two RBI’s to lead the Skyhawks this afternoon. Mikey Nantze blasted a two-run homer in the fourth inning while Nick Pribble scored and drove in a run out of the leadoff spot. Taylor Douglas and Drew Erie each drove in a run while Andrew Castillo, Nico Zych and Austin Taylor all crossed the plate today.
On the mound, Matt Poteete (five runs in two innings) made the start but fell to 1-2 on the season. Dillon Symon (1.1 innings), Chris Flores (0.2 innings), Michael Fidler (one inning) and Dalton Potts (one innings) each made a scoreless appearance out of the bullpen today.
Morehead State (21-13, 8-7 OVC) scored on a sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning but UT Martin sent eight batters to the plate during a three-run bottom half. Pribble walked and stole second to lead off the frame before advancing to third on a Castillo single. Douglas then lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Pribble, evening the score at 1-all. Zych and Taylor drew back-to-back walks before Hirsch delivered the big blow, a two-run double over the right fielder’s head to give the Skyhawks a 3-1 advantage.
The Eagles scratched out four runs in the second and three runs in the third before Patrick Bernard held Morehead State off the scoreboard in the fourth.
UT Martin sliced into its deficit with two runs in the fourth. Hirsch was issued a walk to lead off the inning before Nantze crushed a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left center to make the score 8-5. It was the first career round tripper for the senior catcher out of Carmichael, Calif.
Morehead State was able to score six runs in the fifth before Symon retired the side in order in the sixth. The Eagles added three runs in the top of the seventh but Fidler and Potts did not allow a single hit in the final two innings.
Hirsch ignited another scoring inning in the bottom of the eighth, singling up the middle to lead off the frame. Erie followed with a walk before pinch hitter Jake Deason jumped on a first-pitch fastball for a single to load the bases. Pribble then guided a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Hirsch.
In the bottom of the ninth, Taylor drew a four-pitch walk and Andrew Massey followed with a single. Hirsch walked to load the bases to set up Erie, who lined a single into center for an RBI that scored Taylor. However, that would be the final baserunner the Skyhawks could generate.
UT Martin now hits the road for nine straight games, starting with a midweek matchup at Southeastern Conference power Ole Miss on Wednesday, April 15. First pitch time from Swayze Field is set for 6:30 p.m.