The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team dodged the weather to finish off a 4-2 win this afternoon over Eastern Illinois in the resumption of Saturday’s contest. The two teams then followed with a seven-inning contest in the finale, as Eastern Illinois avoided a Skyhawk sweep with a 2-0 win.
The Skyhawks (17-32, 9-18 Ohio Valley Conference) have now pieced together back-to-back OVC series wins for the first time since UT Martin won three straight conference weekends on April 22 through May 8, 2011.
The Skyhawks wrap up the season next week with a Tuesday, May 12 matchup against Memphis in Millington, Tenn. before hosting OVC rival Jacksonville State for Alumni Weekend and Senior Weekend on May 14-16.
After Game 2 was halted with the Skyhawks leading 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Saturday starter Carter Smith reemerged this afternoon and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. He improved his record to 4-8 on the season after allowing two runs while scattering eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Alex Martin followed with two scoreless innings for his first career save, clinching the series victory.
Austin Taylor collected an RBI and Andrew Castillo scored a run in the top of the ninth to provide an insurance run for UT Martin. Castillo, Taylor Douglas, Andrew Massey and Isaac Carrel each finished with two hits while Castillo led the team with a pair of runs scored.
Smith won a nine-pitch battle in his first batter faced, concluding the fifth inning. He then got through a clean sixth before striking out the side in the seventh, putting the finishing touches on a solid effort.
Martin then took over and did not allow a ball out of the infield in the eighth, using only five pitches to retire the side in order.
The Skyhawks added their final run of the game in their next at-bat, as Taylor drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded to score Castillo, who had previously walked.
Eastern Illinois was able to scratch out a leadoff single in the ninth but Martin did not allow another runner, dialing up a pair of strikeouts to lock down the victory.
Martin got the start and pitched well in the finale but the Skyhawk offense was blanked in a 2-0 loss to the Panthers.
Martin (3-6) fanned four batters over four innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Dillon Symon came on in relief and did not allow a hit over two shutout frames.
Castillo and Nico Zych each had two hits to account for four of UT Martin’s six hits in the game.
Eastern Illinois scored once in the first inning but Martin did a good job of limiting the damage, stranding a pair of Panthers on the basepaths.
Martin needed just seven pitches to get through the second, recording a double play and strikeout to keep the score at 1-0.
The Skyhawks put a runner on second and third with two outs in the third but couldn’t tie or go ahead. The Panthers then added another run in the bottom half of the inning to go on top by a 2-0 margin.
Once again, UT Martin placed men on second and third with two away in the fourth but the Skyhawks could not come up with the clutch hit.
Martin piled up two more strikeouts in the fourth before Symon took over. Symon retired the side in order in the fifth and made short work of Eastern Illinois in the sixth, notching a pair of strikeouts.
Luis Paublini and Nick Pribble each singled with one away in the top of the seventh, bringing the potential go-ahead runs to the plate. However, the next two Skyhawks hit into fielder’s choices as Eastern Illinois claimed the final game of the series.