Archive | UT Martin Baseball

Skyhawks see improvement under Robinson

Skyhawks see improvement under Robinson

Posted on 28 May 2015 by Allen

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The 2015 University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team posted several positives in its first season under head coach Rick Robinson.

The Skyhawks played considerably better as the season went on, compiling 17 wins and nine OVC victories this past spring. The 17 victories were the most for the program since 2011 while the nine conference wins rank as the second-highest OVC win total in school history, trailing only the 10-win teams from 2009 and 2011. UT Martin’s six road victories also marked the most for the program since 2010.

UT Martin seemed to have turned a corner in late March, winning 13 of its 17 games from that point forward. The Skyhawks posted a four-game winning streak for the second time since 2012 to begin that span and took three OVC series in that stretch. UT Martin knocked off then-league leader Belmont (March 27-29), won the OVC season series over Austin Peay for the first time since 1993 (May 1-3) and also won the road series at Eastern Illinois (May 8-10).

The Skyhawks also posted one of their most impressive victories in recent memory on April 7, defeating No. 15 Missouri State by a 6-2 margin. That marked the program’s first win over a ranked opponent since April 10, 2009. Despite the series loss, UT Martin played the Bears even on the scoreboard in the three-game series, holding its own against a Missouri State team that is currently 45-10 and enters this week’s NCAA Regionals as the No. 8 overall national seed.

UT Martin also nearly notched another big nonconference win at Memphis on May 12 before falling by a 2-1 margin in 16 innings. The Skyhawks were one strike away from the victory in the bottom of the ninth before the Tigers – who spent significant time in the national polls throughout the season – rallied for the walk-off win.

One area of significant improvement in 2015 was with the leather, as UT Martin posted a .963 fielding percentage. That marked the third-best season fielding percentage in program history, as the Skyhawks’ 72 errors in 52 games were the lowest since the 2009 team committed 63 errors.

The offensive numbers also proved to be a marked improvement from the recent past. UT Martin’s 493 hits were 116 more than last season and were also the most since the 2011 squad banged out 522 hits. The 2015 team also slammed 39 home runs (fourth-most for a single season in UT Martin history), nearly doubling last season’s total of 21.

A veteran-laden pitching staff also clicked throughout the season. The Skyhawk hurlers combined for 10 saves and 331 strikeouts, which ranks second and fourth, respectively, in UT Martin single season history.

Robinson bid farewell to several all-time greats in 2015. Despite only playing for two seasons, Taylor Douglas ranks eighth in program history in home runs (18) and ninth in doubles (33). His 72 hits, 18 doubles, 11 homers, 47 RBI’s and 127 total bases during his senior campaign all rank in the top-10 in UT Martin single season record book. Nico Zych concluded his four-year Skyhawk career ranked third in at-bats (675) and fifth in games played (189), hits (182) and assists (302). On the hill, Carter Smith put the finishing touches on his four-year UT Martin career by ranking fourth in strikeouts (175), seventh in innings pitched (213.1) and eighth in appearances (63).

Junior right-handed pitcher Patrick Bernard shattered the program’s single season and career record with eight saves, ranking second in the OVC in that category. His eight saves are tied for the most in school history and rank as the most in a single season at UT Martin.

Alex Martin’s 72 strikeouts (third), Matt Hirsch’s 32 walks (fifth) and Andrew Castillo’s 15 doubles (ninth) also rank near the top of their respective categories in the Skyhawk single season top-10 lists.

Meanwhile, Dillon Symon became the 10th player and fourth pitcher in UT Martin history to earn OVC All-Freshman accolades. Symon compiled a team-low 3.95 ERA over 20 appearances.

In addition, a pair of Skyhawks were honored as an adidas OVC Pitcher of the Week during the course of the 2015 campaign. Smith earned the award on Feb. 16 while freshman Matt Poteete garnered the accolade on April 20. It marked just the second time in program history that UT Martin accounted for multiple OVC Pitcher of the Week honorees in the same season.

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Zych Earns TSWA Honors

Zych Earns TSWA Honors

Posted on 20 May 2015 by Allen

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Nico Zych of the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team has been named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Player of the Week for games played May 11-17.

A 6-0, 180-pound senior first baseman, Zych wrapped up a productive four-year career with a hot week at the dish, hitting .500 (8-for-16) with an on-base percentage of .529 and a slugging percentage of .938 in three games.

Zych began his week with a hit in UT Martin’s narrow 16-inning loss at Memphis on Tuesday. The Monee, Ill. native followed that with seven hits in nine at-bats against Ohio Valley Conference rival Jacksonville State. He went 2-for-3 in the opening game before exploding for the best game of his career in the finale on Saturday.

In what would turn out to be the final game of his collegiate career, Zych tallied a career-high five hits in six at-bats with a pair of homers, finishing just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. He added four RBI’s and two runs scored against the Gamecocks, guiding UT Martin to a near-comeback before the team fell 13-12.

Zych concluded the season with a .301 batting clip, 31 runs scored, 14 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 33 RBI’s. He also posted an impressive .985 fielding percentage (367 putouts, six errors in 396 chances) at first base, a position he had not played at the collegiate level until this year.

Zych ends his Skyhawk career ranking in the top-five in UT Martin history in at-bats (675, third), games played (189, fifth), hits (182, fifth) and assists (302, fifth).

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Memphis rallies to beat Skyhawks, 2-1

Memphis rallies to beat Skyhawks, 2-1

Posted on 13 May 2015 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team was one strike away in the bottom of the ninth from claiming a victory over Memphis but the Tigers extended the game and eventually claimed a 2-1 extra-inning win at the WS “Babe” Howard Classic at USA Stadium.

The game, which was UT Martin’s longest in over a dozen years, lasted five hours and eight minutes before Memphis’ Damo DeMatteo – who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the 13th inning – ended the game with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 16th inning.

All four Skyhawk pitchers who saw action on the mound pitched exceptionally well this evening, as they combined to allow just 10 hits while tuning up 10 strikeouts against a Memphis (34-17) squad that was nationally ranked as recently as two weeks ago. Dillon Symon earned the start and allowed only one hit while fanning three Tigers over three shutout innings. Freshman lefty Daniel Shaw followed with a career-long 4.2 shutout frames of relief, conceding four hits. Patrick Bernard then registered three strikeouts while allowing one run in 4.1 innings before Cole Schaenzer (1-3) was charged with the loss, allowing one run on two hits spanning 3.1 innings.

The UT Martin offense began with a bang, as Matt Hirsch crushed the second pitch of the game beyond the left field wall for his first career homer. Andrew Castillo had two hits while Fletcher Johnson drew three walks for the Skyhawks (17-33), who were playing their last road game of the season tonight.

Hirsch’s blast was more than enough support for Symon and Shaw, who mowed down batter after batter while pitching in familiar surroundings. Symon, who hails from less than 30 miles away in Germantown, retired the side in order in the first inning and did not allow a hit through the first 11 Memphis batters. The Tigers made a bid to tie the contest in the third inning but Castillo rifled in a strike from left field to cut down Darien Tubbs at the plate as he tried to score on a two-out single.

Shaw, who is from less than 20 miles away in Memphis, entered in the fourth and immediately tallied a pair of strikeouts before inducing a flyout to end the inning and strand a Memphis runner on third.

The first batter reached on Shaw in both the fifth and sixth innings but the freshman showed remarkable composure. He got a 4-6-3 double play to end the fifth after a leadoff walk and recorded the final two outs on only eight pitches to erase a leadoff single in the sixth.

Shaw then posted zeroes on the scoreboard in the seventh inning and got two outs on the first six pitches of the eighth before Bernard came in. Facing runners on first and second, Bernard needed only three pitches to get out of the inning and keep the Skyhawk lead at 1-0.

Memphis placed the leadoff batter on base and he would later steal second with no outs. Bernard then got a lineout, followed by a strikeout and had Tubbs at a 1-2 count before he singled to shortstop to score Brandon Montgomery and send the game into extra innings.

Johnson reached on an error to lead off the 10th inning and he would eventually move just 90 feet away from scoring with two away but the Tigers escaped the jam.

Bernard posted shutout frames in the 10th, 11th and 12th, pitching around runners in scoring position in all three innings.

The Skyhawks placed two runners on the basepaths in the 13th but once again couldn’t manufacture a run. Castillo led off with a walk before he was forced out on a Taylor Douglas fielder’s choice. Austin Taylor singled through the right side with two away to put men on first and second but Memphis got through the situation unscathed.

Schaenzer’s first inning of work was in the 13th, as he got two quick outs before extending the game.

UT Martin had its best chance to go ahead in the 14th. Nick Pribble singled to center to lead off the inning and moved up to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Luis Paublini. Johnson then drew a walk and Hirsch reached on an error to load the bases with one out for Castillo, who lifted a fly ball into center. Tubbs completed the catch and fired in a throw that was on target in just enough time to retire Pribble trying to tag from third.

Schaenzer posted two more zeroes on the scoreboard in the 14th and 15th and the Skyhawks once again placed a pair of runners on base in the 16th. Pribble drew a one-out walk and Johnson was issued a two-out walk but Memphis once again got out of the jam.

Tubbs was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the 16th and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, DeMatteo’s single proved to be the game-winner.

UT Martin wraps up the 2015 season this week when it hosts Ohio Valley Conference rival Jacksonville State on May 14-16. First pitch times for the series are scheduled for 6 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday, followed by a 3 p.m. start for Saturday – which will serve as Senior Day and Alumni Day.

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Skyhaws split doubleheader with Eastern Illinois

Skyhaws split doubleheader with Eastern Illinois

Posted on 10 May 2015 by Allen

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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.

Game 2
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.

Game 3
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.

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Skyhawks add three pitchers

Skyhawks add three pitchers

Posted on 21 April 2015 by Allen

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Skyhawk head baseball coach Rick Robinson has announced the additions of three players who will attend the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2015-16.

Pitchers Shane Seckinger, Domenic Bazzani and Matt McKinstry will all join the Skyhawk program next season as transfers. Seckinger and Bazzani are currently teammates at Georgia Perimeter College while McKinstry will come to UT Martin from Southwest Tennessee Community College.

“These three young men are a great fit for UT Martin baseball and will make our pitching staff a lot better next year,” Robinson said. “Each one will play a major role in the future success of our program not only on the field but off the field as well.”

Shane Seckinger, RHP, 6-2, 200, R/R, R-So., Oakwood, Ga. (Georgia Perimeter College)
Seckinger will have three years of eligibility remaining for the Skyhawks beginning in 2016 after redshirting at North Georgia College last season. He has helped the Jaguars and head coach Jeremy Brotherton get off to a 27-20 start this season, going 5-0 with a 1.86 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts). In 38.2 innings, he has allowed 32 hits while striking out 38 batters against 21 walks. He has allowed one earned run or less in six of his appearances so far this season, with his best outing coming against East Georgia on March 2 (five innings, two hits, zero runs allowed, eight strikeouts). He also fanned nine batters while allowing two hits in 5.2 innings against Georgia Highlands on April 17. He prepped at Mill Creek High School, where he was the Region 7AAAAA Pitcher of the Year in 2012. He was a first team all-region and first team all-county honoree in back-to-back seasons (2012 and 2013), helping the Hawks to region titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He set the school record for career strikeouts and lowest career ERA while earning Gwinnett County All-Star and Georgia All-Star accolades in 2013.

Domenic Bazzani, LHP, 6-4, 225, L/L, R-Fr., Stockbridge, Ga. (Georgia Perimeter College)
Bazzani will have four years of eligibility for UT Martin as he is currently redshirting at Georgia Perimeter, rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in the fall. His prep career was spent playing for head coach Jason Borcherding at Heritage High School, where the Patriots won 18 games and made an appearance in the Class AAAAA state playoffs in 2014. Bazzani earned second team all-region honors as both a pitcher and an infielder and was named an all-area first team honoree after posting a .407 on-base percentage and a team-high 25 RBI’s. He had multiple dominant efforts on the mound, including a complete game, 10-strikeout, one earned run performance against Winder-Barrow during his senior year. He also fanned nine batters and allowed only one run over four innings against Rockdale County in his senior campaign. His brother Anthony played for fellow Ohio Valley Conference school Eastern Kentucky from 2010-13 and is currently pitching in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

Matt McKinstry, RHP, 6-5, 175, R/R, Jr., Memphis, Tenn. (Southwest Tennessee CC)
McKinstry will have two years of eligibility remaining at UT Martin beginning in 2016. He currently plays for head coach and UT Martin alum George Sykes at Southwest Tennessee Community College, where he has posted a 4-1 record with a 2.15 ERA in nine appearances (seven starts). He has thrown one complete game and has allowed only five extra-base hits in 37.2 innings, fanning 31 batters against only 11 walks. He has allowed one or zero runs in all but two appearances with his best outing coming against Broward College (six shutout innings, four hits allowed, seven strikeouts) on Jan. 31. As a true freshman in 2014, he made 15 appearances with one start, accounting for scoreless outings in 10 appearances. He did not allow a run from Feb. 2 through March 21. He prepped at White Station High School, where he led the Spartans to 26 wins and the District 16-AAA title as a senior. He was the winning pitcher in the district championship victory over Central.

These three players will join UT Martin’s 12 signees from the fall, which include Jake Patzner (RHP, Johnson County CC), Dalton Westfall (RHP, Potomac State College), Alex Evans (RHP, Barton CC), Collin Edwards (OF, Wabash Valley College), Ty Hilton (OF, Illinois Central College), Tyler Albright (IF, Oakton CC), Josh Hauser (IF, Elgin CC), Sadler Goodwin (IF/RHP, Evangelical Christian School), Bentley Jones (C, Brighton HS), Adam Rimmer (LHP, Milan HS), Alan Rickman (RHP, McNairy Central HS) and Nick Proto (C, North Haven HS).

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Skyhawks top Missouri State 6-2

Skyhawks top Missouri State 6-2

Posted on 18 April 2015 by Allen

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Freshman left-handed pitcher Matt Poteete consistently pounded the strike zone for nine innings while his offense provided plenty of run support early in the University of Tennessee at Martin’s impressive 6-2 victory at No. 21 Missouri State this evening.

Poteete improved to 2-2 on the season after his commanding performance on the mound tonight. He went the distance – allowing only two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out a career-high eight batters over nine innings. The Humboldt, Tenn. native fired 88 of his 119 pitches for strikes.

At the plate, Nico Zych went 2-for-4 with four RBI’s while Andrew Castillo added two hits, two runs scored and two RBI’s. Taylor Douglas (three hits, two runs scored), Matt Hirsch (two hits, two walks, run scored) and Fletcher Johnson (run scored) also contributed offensively for UT Martin, who improved to 11-24 on the season by outhitting the Bears by a 12-7 margin.

The Skyhawk offense got off to a quick start, scoring a pair of runs on three hits in the first inning. Castillo and Douglas each singled with one away and Zych followed by ripping the first pitch he saw for a two-run double to give UT Martin the early advantage.

Poteete pitched around a pair of baserunners in the bottom half of the inning, tallying a pair of strikeouts to shutout Missouri State (25-9), who is ranked No. 21 nationally in this week’s Collegiate Baseball polls.

UT Martin then padded their lead with three runs on four hits in the top of the second. Hirsch singled to lead off the inning and stole second to put himself in scoring position. Johnson then singled and stole second to put runners on second and third for Castillo, who clubbed a two-run double to center to make the score 4-0. After Douglas was issued an intentional walk with two outs, Zych came through once again with a single to plate Castillo and extend the Skyhawk advantage out to 5-0.

Poteete would register two more strikeouts in the second but the Bears pushed across one run to cut UT Martin’s lead back to four runs.

After another shutdown inning by Poteete in the third, the Skyhawks tacked on another run in the fourth. Douglas roped a triple down the right field line to open the top of the frame and he came in to score just five pitches later when Zych once again manufactured the run with a sacrifice fly out to center.

Poteete cruised through the fourth, retiring the side in order on seven pitches. Missouri State scored once in the fifth but Poteete avoided the big inning by stranding a pair of runners and getting some help from Castillo, who threw out a runner at home for the second out of the inning.

>From that point on, Poteete was nearly untouchable – as he retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. He fanned the first two batters on his way to another three-up, three-down inning in the sixth and did not allow a ball out of the infield in a scoreless seventh. He needed only nine pitches to get out of the eighth inning unscathed before finishing out his remarkable effort with 11 pitches in a perfect ninth.

The Skyhawks will look to clinch at least a series victory when they tangle with Missouri State for Game 2 on Saturday, April 18. First pitch from Hammons Field is set for 2:05 p.m.

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UT Martin thumped by Morehead State, 17-7

UT Martin thumped by Morehead State, 17-7

Posted on 12 April 2015 by Allen

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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.

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Skyhakws fall to Morehead, 8-6

Skyhakws fall to Morehead, 8-6

Posted on 11 April 2015 by Allen

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Taylor Douglas and Austin Taylor each stayed hot at the plate for the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team but a four-run fifth inning by Morehead State proved to be the difference in an 8-6 Skyhawk loss this afternoon.

Home runs by Taylor and Douglas in the first three innings gave UT Martin (10-22, 5-12 Ohio Valley Conference) a lead but the Eagles scored all eight of their runs in the third through fifth innings and the Skyhawks could not catch up.

Douglas concluded the day with four RBI’s to go along with a pair of hits while Fletcher Johnson also added two hits and a run scored out of the No. 9 hole. Andrew Castillo reached base safely three times, driving in a run and scoring a run while Nick Pribble and Matt Hirsch also scored a run for UT Martin.

On the mound, Carter Smith (2-5) was charged with the loss after going allowing seven earned runs in 4.1 innings. Jackson Zarubin came on in relief in the fifth and was very effective, tossing 4.2 shutout innings – allowing only five hits (all singles) and one walk.

Smith began the game by retiring the side in order in the top of the first. He followed that with another scoreless frame in the second, pitching around a one-out double.

Taylor then gave the Skyhawks a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the second, mauling a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left field for his second homer in as many days and fourth longball of the season.

Morehead State, who won its ninth consecutive game this afternoon, got on the scoreboard with three runs in the top of the third before Douglas’ blast tilted the score back in UT Martin’s favor. After Pribble (walk) and Castillo (hit by pitch) reached base to begin the bottom of the third, Douglas cranked an inside fastball for a towering homer over the scoreboard in left field, resulting in a 4-3 Skyhawk advantage. It was the team-best sixth homer of the season for the Holladay, Tenn. native.

The Eagles were able to tie the game with one run in the top of the fourth, despite the fact that Smith struck out the side in the inning. Morehead State then struck for four runs in the top of the fifth before Zarubin entered and induced an inning-ending double play. Zarubin then tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh innings to allow the UT Martin offense to do some more damage.

In the bottom of the seventh, Hirsch was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Johnson followed with a one-out single. Pribble then walked to load the bases for Castillo, who was hit by a pitch to bring in Hirsch and make the score 8-5. Following a pitching change, Douglas guided a single through the left side to score Johnson and put the tying run on second base. However, Morehead State was able to secure an inning-ending double play to briefly pause the Skyhawk threat.

Zarubin displayed some glove work in the top of the eighth, as he snared a line drive hit right back to him and threw to first base to double-off an Eagle runner to conclude the inning with another zero posted on the scoreboard.

UT Martin was able to load the bases with one away one more time in the bottom of the eighth but once again the Eagles got out of a jam by turning an inning-ending double play.

The Skyhawk defense returned the favor in the top of the ninth, as Zarubin induced a 6-3 double play to send the game into the bottom of the ninth. However, UT Martin was unable to bring the tying run to the plate.

The Skyhawks close out their home series against Morehead State on Sunday, April 12 with a first pitch time of 1 p.m. scheduled to take place at Skyhawk Field. The game will be streamed live, free of charge on the OVC Digital Network.

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Skyhawks top Belmont in extra innings

Skyhawks top Belmont in extra innings

Posted on 29 March 2015 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team notched its fourth straight victory this afternoon with a 5-4 walk-off victory against Ohio Valley Conference leader Belmont at Skyhawk Field.

With the win, the Skyhawks (8-16, 4-7 OVC) clinched at least a series win over Belmont for the first series win over a conference opponent since UT Martin defeated Tennessee Tech on March 23-25, 2012.

The Skyhawks were able to nab the win today behind a 10th inning double off the bat of Andrew Massey, who drove in Taylor Douglas with an opposite field shot down the right field line.

“We had an opportunity to win in extra innings,” UT Martin head coach Rick Robinson said. “That’s one of the huge advantages of playing at home. I love playing at home for the simple reason that you can give them one run when you’re up by one and still have an opportunity to win. Andrew stepped up with the clutch hit, which was one of the most clutch hits of the season because that wrapped up the series win against Belmont.”

Andrew Castillo finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle today, tallying three hits with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Taylor Douglas doubled to lead off the 10th and scored the winning run to cap off a two-hit, two-run and RBI performance. Pribble also scored a run while Fletcher Johnson came away with a multi-hit effort to lead the Skyhawks, who outhit Belmont by a 10-6 margin.

Senior right-hander Alex Martin pitched two scoreless innings to receive the win, improving to 1-3 on the season. Quinton Stevens started the game and tossed a season-high five frames, allowing three runs on only four hits. Jackson Zarubin also saw time on the mound today, accounting for three innings with zero hits allowed for UT Martin.

Belmont (12-11, 5-2 OVC) struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the first before Stevens held the Bruins off the scoreboard in the second. Belmont was able to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the third before the Skyhawks evened the score in the bottom half of the inning.

Pribble reached on an error with one out and Castillo followed with an RBI triple. Douglas then singled to make the score 3-2 and Zych would tie the game with an RBI single after Douglas stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Stevens then took over, retiring the side in order in the fourth and holding the Bruins scoreless in his fifth and final frame.

UT Martin took its first lead of the contest in the bottom of the fifth, as Castillo connected on a one-out round tripper beyond the fence in left field to give the Skyhawks a one-run lead. It was the third homer of the season for Castillo and second in the last five days for the junior out of Kennewick, Wash.

Zarubin followed with a shutout sixth before sitting the Bruins down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings to keep the Skyhawk lead at 4-3.

Belmont tied the game in the top of the ninth but UT Martin escaped any further damage with a strikeout and caught stealing double play to end the Bruin threat.

Martin pitched through a scoreless 10th inning, thanks in large part to Castillo throwing out a baserunner trying to nab the extra base at third for the second out of the inning.

Douglas and Massey then doubled in the bottom half of the frame to give the Skyhawks the victory.

UT Martin will go for the sweep on Sunday, March 29 when they host Belmont for the series finale. The Skyhawks are expected to throw senior left-hander Carter Smith (1-3, 2.03 ERA) while Belmont’s probable starting pitcher is yet to be announced.

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Skyhawks split doubleheader with Tenn Tech

Skyhawks split doubleheader with Tenn Tech

Posted on 22 March 2015 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team battled tough against Tennessee Tech by a score of 2-1 before cracking out the bats in the second half of the Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader to pick up the 8-0 victory in six innings.

The Skyhawks (13-13, 2-4 OVC) scored nine runs on the day while tallying 11 base hits. Alicia Hansen and Carly Gonzales led the team with a pair of base hits while Hansen notched the team’s lone home run with a pair of RBIs.
Elizabeth Wiegand improved to 6-5 on the season while notching her seventh complete game and second shutout of the season. Wiegand allowed just two base hits while striking out a pair. Kenzi Tate started in the opener, allowing two runs in six innings of work.

Game One: Tennessee Tech 2, UT Martin 1

The Skyhawks would get on the board first in the contest as Hansen tallied the team’s lone run in the top of the second inning. Hansen would get the Skyhawks in the scoring column with a leadoff home run to center, taking a 1-0 lead.

Tennessee Tech would take its first and eventual game winning lead in the bottom of the fourth. Following an innocent groundout, Olivia Bennett would single through the left side, putting a runner on base. Alyssa Richards would bring Bennett around to score with a game-winning home run to center, picking up the 2-1 victory.
Game Two: UT Martin 8, Tennessee Tech 0 (Six innings)

After scoring just one run in the front end of the doubleheader, the Skyhawks would bust out of the gate with three runs in the top of the first. The Skyhawks would place runners on first and second following a pair of errors and a walk to Kacie Daugherty and Samantha McClure. With the bases loaded, a run would come around to score on a walk by Kelsey Dixon. The following runs would score off a single by Jodie Duncan and a steal of home by Gonzales.

UT Martin would add another trio of runs to the board in the top of the third after a leadoff single to Dixon and as Duncan was hit by a pitch. Savannah Dodson would tally her lone RBI of the day with a bunt single, bringing Dixon in from third while pinch runner Chelsey Smith stole home for the team’s fifth run of the contest. The scoring inning would be capped off following a pitching change as McClure doubled to center, scoring Dodson on the play to give the Skyhawks a 6-0 advantage.

The Skyhawks would put the contest away in the top of the sixth as the trio of Gonzales, Tate and Hansen strung together back-to-back-to-back doubles into the gap to bring a pair of runs in to score, leading to a run shortened victory at 8-0 after six.

UT Martin will return to action on Wednesday, March 25 with a doubleheader trip to Middle Tennessee. Action from Murfreesboro is scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m.

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Skyahwks fall to Tech, 9-3

Skyahwks fall to Tech, 9-3

Posted on 17 March 2015 by Allen

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A trio of University of Tennessee at Martin baseball players collected multi-hit outings today but the Skyhawks fell 9-3 in an Ohio Valley Conference series rubber match against Tennessee Tech.

The Skyhawks (3-12, 2-4 OVC) only had one less hit than Tennessee Tech but the Golden Eagles were able to score in six different innings this afternoon.

Andrew Castillo led the way for UT Martin with three hits and an RBI while Andrew Massey came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with a run scored and a RBI. Taylor Douglas also added two hits while Luis Paublini (run, RBI) and Austin Taylor (run scored) contributed to the Skyhawk offense as well.

On the mound, Alex Martin (0-3) went at least six innings for the third time in four starts this season but was saddled with the loss after allowing seven runs in six innings. He recorded five punchouts while scattering seven hits. Cole Schaenzer, Chris Flores and Gary Price also each hurled one inning in relief for the Skyhawk pitching staff, who accumulated double-digit strikeouts in a game for the fourth time this season.

Martin started strong, chalking up a strikeout on three pitches to begin the game but Tennessee Tech (9-8, 3-3 OVC) scored two runs in the top of the first. The Skyhawks crushed a pair of doubles in the bottom of the first but could not push a run across the plate.

The Golden Eagles scored a run in both the second and third innings before Martin retired the side in order in the fourth inning.

UT Martin then used a two-out rally to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Taylor was hit by a pitch and later advanced to second on a balk. Paublini then lined a single into left to plate Taylor and make the score 4-1. The Skyhawks would load the bases in that inning before Tennessee Tech escaped the inning.

Tennessee Tech added three runs in the top of the fifth thanks to Chase Chambers’ second home run of the game. Martin then bounced back to post a clean sixth inning, rounding out his appearance with a called strikeout.

A pair of baserunners reached safely in the bottom half of the sixth but the Skyhawks could not manage a run. The Golden Eagles then tallied a run in the seventh but UT Martin got the run right back in the bottom half.

Massey led things off with a pinch-hit single and advanced to second on a single by Douglas. Castillo then came up with a single up the middle with two away to drive in Massey and make the score 8-2.

The Golden Eagles scored one more run in the eighth before the Skyhawks matched that with a run of their own in the eighth. Paublini drew an eight-pitch walk to lead off the frame and would later come around to score on a Massey single to centerfield.

Price struck out the side in the top of the ninth and although Castillo stroked his third hit of the day in the bottom half of the inning, UT Martin’s potential rally was short-lived.

The Skyhawks continue their four-game homestand on Tuesday, March 17 when they host the Southern Illinois Salukis at 5 p.m.

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Skyhawks split doubleheader against Murray State

Skyhawks split doubleheader against Murray State

Posted on 08 March 2015 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team picked up a 6-3 win in its Ohio Valley Conference opener today before falling 1-0 in the doubleheader nightcap against the Murray State Racers.

The Skyhawk pitching staff posted a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings today, allowing only 11 hits (nine singles) for a .190 opponent batting average. Freshman right-hander Michael Fidler (four innings, two runs on two hits) earned the win in relief in Game 1 with Patrick Bernard (three strikeouts in two scoreless innings) earning his second save of the season. Daniel Shaw (Game 1 start, one run on two hits in three innings), Carter Smith (one earned run, six strikeouts in seven innings of Game 2) and Matt Poteete (one perfect relief inning in Game 2) also saw time on the mound today for UT Martin, who is 2-8 overall with a 1-1 OVC mark.

At the plate, Taylor Douglas scored twice and piled up four hits in eight at-bats today while Andrew Castillo and Jake Deason each pieced together three hits. Nico Zych drove in a pair of runs to lead the Skyhawks today, who outhit Murray State by a 17-11 margin.

These two teams will meet for a rubber match to determine a series winner on Sunday, March 8 at 12 p.m.

Game 1
UT Martin pushed four runs across the plate in the top of the eighth to beat the defending OVC Pitcher of the Year Brock Downey in the Game 1 victory.

The Racers scored a run in the bottom of the first but the Skyhawks came back to tie the game in their next at-bat. Luis Paublini singled to right field to open the frame and Matt Hirsch reached after he was hit by a pitch. Castillo then singled to load the bases with no outs and two pitches later, Mikey Nantze brought in Paublini with a squeeze bunt to even the contest at 1-all.

Shaw then kept Murray State off the scoreboard in each of the next two innings before giving way to Fidler, who needed only nine pitches to breeze through a perfect bottom of the fourth.

The Skyhawks took their first lead of the game in the top of the fifth. Douglas lined a two-out double down the left field line and Zych followed with an RBI single to result in a 2-1 UT Martin advantage.

Murray State scored two runs with two outs in the fifth to briefly reclaim the lead. Fidler then retired the side in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to give the Skyhawks a chance to win in the late innings.

UT Martin rewarded Fidler with four runs in the top of the eighth. Douglas drew a leadoff walk and five pitches later, Zych found the gap for a triple out to right field to tie the score at 3-all. Following a pitching change, Zych scored the go-ahead run on an error and Castillo followed with a RBI single to plate Hirsch. With two away, Andrew Massey ripped a 2-0 pitch for an opposite-field triple to score Castillo and make the score 6-3 in favor of the Skyhawks.

Bernard then tallied a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth and pitched around pair of two-out singles to record the final out via a called strikeout to clinch UT Martin’s win.

Game 2
The Skyhawks took a 1-0 lead through five innings but Murray State was able to scratch out two unanswered runs to close out the game.

UT Martin placed baserunners on the corners with one out in the top of the first but could not manufacture a run. Smith then began his tremendous outing by stranding a pair of Racers in the bottom half of the frame to keep the game scoreless.

Smith then found his groove. After issuing back-to-back walks to begin the second inning, he retired 12 consecutive batters until Murray State led off the sixth inning with a single.

Meanwhile, the UT Martin offense got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. Deason singled with one out and swiped second base during the following at-bat. Zych (reached on an error) and Paublini (walk) then reached to load the bases for Matt Hirsch, who took a walk on five pitches to score Deason.

Smith recorded two strikeouts in the aforementioned sixth inning but the Racers were able to tie the game at 1-all on a sacrifice fly.

Murray State was able to put a man in scoring position in the seventh inning but Smith buckled down, recording the final out on a called strikeout to keep the score 1-1.

However, the Racers were able to generate a run early in the bottom of the eighth before Poteete came in and picked up three outs on four pitches.

UT Martin had the heart of its order up in the top of the ninth but the Skyhawks could not put the potential tying run on the basepaths.

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Smith earns OVC Accolades

Smith earns OVC Accolades

Posted on 16 February 2015 by Allen

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Carter Smith, a senior left-handed pitcher on the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team, was named the season’s first adidas Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week this afternoon.

Today’s announcement marks the second career OVC weekly honor for Smith, both of which have occurred in the last three weeks dating back to last season.

Smith drew the starting assignment for UT Martin’s Opening Day contest against Texas-Pan American last Friday, earning the win in the Skyhawks’ 1-0 victory. The 6-2, 205-pound native of St. Louis, Mo. kept the Broncs off balance, allowing only one hit while striking out eight batters over five shutout innings. He helped UT Martin post just its second shutout in the last 96 games and the result also resulted in head coach Rick Robinson’s 700th career victory.

Smith fanned at least one batter in each of his five innings of work and retired the final seven batters he faced, four of which came via strikeout. Overall, he limited Texas-Pan American to a .067 batting average (one hit in 15 at-bats).

Weather permitting, the Skyhawks are scheduled to hold their home-opener this weekend when they host Western Michigan. The two squads will play at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, a noon doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 21 and a noon single game on Sunday, Feb. 22. Stay tuned to UTMSports.com for any impending schedule changes.

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Skyhawks drop doubleheader at Jackston State Tournament

Skyhawks drop doubleheader at Jackston State Tournament

Posted on 15 February 2015 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team pounded out 17 runs courtesy of 27 hits during its doubleheader today but ultimately came away with a pair of tough losses, falling 8-7 to Texas-Pan American and 20-10 to Jackson State.

One day after his solo homer lifted the Skyhawks to a 1-0 win in the season-opener, senior Nico Zych stayed hot today, hitting .667 with three doubles in nine at-bats. Fletcher Johnson had a team-best four RBI’s today while Nick Pribble, Taylor Douglas and Mike Murphy each recorded four hits. Luis Paublini (two doubles), Andrew Castillo (four runs scored) and Jake Deason (homer) also provided some pop for UT Martin today.

On the mound, Alex Martin drew the starting assignment in Game 1 and dazzled Texas-Pan American through seven innings, conceding only one run on three hits while notching a career-high 10 strikeouts. However, he received a tough luck no-decision after the Broncs posted the comeback victory. As a staff, eight Skyhawk hurlers combined for 16 strikeouts in 17 innings today.

The Skyhawks conclude the season-opening tournament tomorrow with a 1 p.m. matchup against host Jackson State.

Game 1
Murphy, Zych and Paublini each had three hits while Douglas, Castillo and Paublini all drove in a pair of runs to back Martin on the mound but Texas-Pan American rallied in the late innings.

Martin retired the first seven batters he faced, four of which came via a strikeout. However, the Broncs were able to take a 1-0 lead after a two-out single in the top of the third.

The Skyhawks then answered right back with three runs and five hits in the bottom half of the frame. Pribble and Murphy led things off with back-to-back singles and after a fielder’s choice, Castillo laced a two-run double to put UT Martin on top by a 2-1 margin. Zych followed with a bunt single and moments later, Paublini fought off a 3-2 pitch for a double to right center that plated Castillo and made the score 3-1.

Martin then found his groove again, sitting down the next five Texas-Pan American batters in order.

UT Martin got back on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. After Castillo reached on a fielder’s choice, Zych lined a double into the gap in left center to put baserunners on second and third. Paublini then singled up the middle to bring in Castillo and provide the Skyhawks with a 4-1 edge.

Martin pitched around a two-out single to strike out the side in the sixth, setting the stage for another big offensive inning in the bottom half.

After Pribble and Murphy each singled with two outs, Douglas roped a double to bring in both runners and give UT Martin a 6-1 advantage through six innings of play.

Martin got through another scoreless frame in the seventh before giving way to the bullpen. A pair of errors played a role in a seven-run eighth inning for Texas-Pan American, as three of the Broncs’ runs were unearned.

Trailing 8-6 in the bottom of the eighth, Deason muscled up for a one-out homer to pull the Skyhawks back within a single run. It was the fourth career longball for the redshirt junior infielder from Bartlett, Tenn.

After Dalton Potts notched a pair of strikeouts in a clean top of the ninth, Zych accounted for a two-out single in the bottom half of the frame to put the tying run on base. However, he was ultimately stranded as Texas-Pan American claimed the win.

Game 2
After tallying eight runs in the season’s first two games, the Skyhawks went off for 10 runs in their doubleheader nightcap but Jackson State put together two big innings on its way to the win.

Skyhawk starting pitcher Chris Flores pitched around trouble in the first inning, holding the Tigers off the scoreboard.

UT Martin jumped out to a lead in the top of the second. Zych belted a leadoff double and later advanced to third on a passed ball. Two batters later, he trotted home on a groundout to give the Skyhawks a 1-0 advantage.

Jackson State then scored nine runs in the bottom of the second – all of which came after the first two batters of the inning were retired. Included in the inning was a three-out triple and grand slam for the Tigers.

The Skyhawks didn’t hang their heads, as they clawed back for a pair of runs in the top of the third. Murphy reached on an error and Castillo hit into a fielder’s choice to put men on the corners. Zych then singled in Murphy and after both runners moved up 90 feet on a passed ball, Castillo scored on a fielder’s choice to make the score 9-3.

The Tigers tacked on one more run in the third but freshman Michael Fidler accounted for a shutout fourth inning in his collegiate debut.

UT Martin was able to get back in the game with a big fifth inning. Castillo was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and Zych followed with a double. Castillo scored on an error and after Mikey Nantze was hit by a pitch, the bases were juiced for Johnson, who crushed the first pitch he saw for a grand slam – the first career round-tripper for the sophomore outfielder out of Helena, Ala. All in all, the Skyhawks pushed five runs across the plate and sliced their deficit to 10-8.

However, Jackson State responded with three runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth to take a 15-8 lead.

The Skyhawks got two runs back in the top of the seventh, as Hirsch (reached on a walk) and Nantze (reached on a single) each scored on passed balls to make the score 15-10.

Jackson State added five runs in the eighth before freshman Matt Poteete held the Tigers off the scoreboard in his collegiate debut in the eighth inning.

UT Martin would place a pair of runners on the basepaths in the top of the ninth but couldn’t complete a comeback.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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