Archive | UT Martin Baseball

Poteet named Player of the Year

Poteet named Player of the Year

Posted on 19 January 2015 by Allen

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University of Tennessee at Martin freshman left-handed pitcher Matt Poteete was honored over the weekend as the 2014 Class A Player of the Year at the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association clinic.

Skyhawk head coach Rick Robinson, who served as a speaker at the TBCA event, was on hand to watch Poteete receive his award.

Poteete, who starred at nearby Jackson Christian School, was one of the state’s best pitchers in leading the Eagles to a state championship in 2014. He notched an 11-2 record with a pair of saves while boasting a 1.11 ERA in 17 appearances. Playing for head coach Chuck Cooper, he allowed only 64 hits while striking out 124 batters against just 11 walks in 82.1 innings.

In helping JCS post a 38-8 record and capture its first state title since 2008, Poteete pitched in four games over a seven-day stretch during championship week. He began with a complete game on the mound and a three-run homer at the plate in a 3-1 victory over Goodpasture in the opening round. He rounded out his week with five strikeouts and zero walks in the 8-2 win over Grace Christian Academy in the Class A state championship game in Murfreesboro.

Poteete, a Humboldt native, was named The Jackson Sun’s 2014 Baseball Player of the Year and was also an all-state honoree. In addition to his dominant pitching numbers, the 6-1, 175-pounder hit .349 with 12 doubles, three triples and 34 RBI’s from the right side of the plate.

Poteete is one of 14 newcomers to this year’s Skyhawk baseball squad, who enter the first season under the direction of Robinson. UT Martin officially begins team practice this Friday, Jan. 23 in anticipation of its season opening tournament at Jackson State on Feb. 13-15.

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Cutler-Volt joins Skyhawks baseball staff

Cutler-Volt joins Skyhawks baseball staff

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Allen

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University of Tennessee at Martin head baseball coach Rick Robinson has announced the addition of Seth Cutler-Voltz as an assistant on his coaching staff.

Cutler-Voltz has spent the last two seasons as a volunteer assistant at VCU, an Atlantic 10 Conference school located in Richmond, Va. He took over the day-to-day pitching operations for the Rams, who posted a 65-46 overall record in his two years on the coaching staff.

“I am extremely grateful for Coach Robinson as well as the administrative staff at UT Martin for giving me this opportunity,” Cutler-Voltz said. “Coach Robinson is a proven winner and I am looking forward to working with him as well as the rest of the Skyhawk staff and players. I am excited to get started and see what we can accomplish in the near future.”

Robinson identified Cutler-Voltz as the perfect candidate to tutor the Skyhawk pitchers.

“I am excited about the addition of Coach Cutler-Voltz to our staff,” said Robinson, who was hired as Skyhawk head coach on June 3. “His experience as a Division-I pitching coach as well as his success as a Division-I student athlete will give our players the advantage they need to achieve their full potential both in the classroom and on the field. Our pitching staff will see immediate results from his ability to teach and motivate.”

Working under head coach Shawn Stiffler, Cutler-Voltz helped guide the Rams to a memorable year in 2014. VCU began the season with a 20-5 record with victories over future NCAA Tournament teams Georgia Tech, East Carolina and Old Dominion. The Rams surged into the Baseball America top-25 polls and ended the season with a 37-20 record, the most wins for the program since 2007. VCU was only one win away from a berth in the NCAA Regionals, as the Rams fell 3-2 in 10 innings to George Mason in the A-10 championship game.

The VCU pitching staff posted a stellar 3.86 staff ERA under Cutler-Voltz’s tutelage in 2014, allowing less than a hit per inning (.259 opponent batting average). His five primary starting pitchers boasted a combined 26-11 record with a 3.14 ERA in 367.1 innings. The Rams posted similar numbers under Cutler-Voltz in 2013, piecing together a 3.87 team ERA to go along with a .274 opponent batting average. One of his pitchers, Seth Greene, led the A-10 and ranked 10th in the nation in least walks allowed per nine innings (1.05) in 2013.

Cutler-Voltz’s successful start to his coaching career followed a remarkable four-year playing career for Stiffler and the late head coach Paul Keyes at VCU. The 6-0, 180-pound power righty concluded his collegiate playing days ranking second in career innings pitched (338.1), fourth in career games started (47), ninth in career strikeouts (229) and 10th in career appearances (73). He won 18 games with a 4.31 career ERA while posting nearly a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (229 strikeouts against 77 walks).

After making a team-high 23 appearances as a freshman in 2009, Cutler-Voltz’s best season came in 2010. He went 8-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 17 appearances (all starts), earning All-Colonial Athletic Association second team honors as well as All-CAA tournament accolades. He accounted for 119.1 innings pitched (third-most in a single season in VCU history) behind five complete games, helping guide the Rams to the CAA tournament title and NCAA Regionals for the 10th time in school history.

Cutler-Voltz logged 14 more appearances (all starts) as a junior before notching a 7-3 record with a 4.29 ERA in 19 appearances (13 starts) as a senior. He once again showed impeccable command, walking only 11 batters with 67 strikeouts in 84 innings.

A Richmond, Va. native, Cutler-Voltz was a four-year standout for Henrico High School. Her was a three-year all-district selection while earning Player of the Year accolades in the Capitol District in 2007, the same year he helped guide the Warriors to the Capitol District tournament championship.

Cutler-Voltz graduated from VCU with a degree in exercise science in 2012. He also obtained his Master’s degree from VCU.

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Skyhawks announce 13 new baseball players

Skyhawks announce 13 new baseball players

Posted on 14 August 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball program has announced 13 new players on its 2015 roster. Six players will be incoming juniors, one will be a redshirt sophomore and the remaining six will be freshmen.

Skyhawk head coach Rick Robinson and assistant coach Rick Guarno scoured the nation to sign junior college transfers Patrick Bernard, Andrew Castillo, Nick Pribble, Mike Murphy, Matt Hirsch, Cole Schaenzer and Austin Taylor. UT Martin’s incoming freshmen include Michael Fidler, Matt Poteete, Daniel Shaw, Carson Shrode, Carter McMackin and Blake Williams.

“I am extremely excited about the student-athletes that will be joining our team this fall,” Robinson said. “Coach Guarno did an outstanding job in a short period of time recruiting and signing a group of young men that will add talent and depth to our roster. I am looking forward to working with each of them on and off the field.”

Patrick Bernard, RHP, 6-0, 180, R/R, Jr., Edmonds, Wash. (Tacoma CC)

Bernard is coming off a successful two-year stint under head coach Ryan Mummert at Tacoma Community College, where he played alongside fellow Skyhawk signee Matt Hirsch…Last season, Bernard went 6-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 11 appearances (seven starts) for a team that finished with a 39-8 record…Allowed just 33 hits while fanning 34 batters in 46 innings pitched…Held opponents to a miniscule .208 batting average while conceding just four extra-base hits (all doubles) on the season…Allowed one or zero earned runs in 10 of his 11 appearances…Tallied a 6-3 record with a 4.36 ERA in 11 appearances (seven starts) as a true freshman in 2013, helping the Titans to a 35-16 record…Dialed up 28 strikeouts in 45.1 innings while limiting the opposition to only eight extra-base hits on the season…Had seven appearances where he conceded two earned runs or less…Attended Edmonds-Woodway High School, where he helped the squad to a 17-7 record and Wesco South League championship under head coach Matt Barker in 2012…Earned the mound victory in the Wesco South League championship game against Maryville-Pilchuck…Earned first team All-Wesco league accolades…Tossed a no-hitter and added a solo homer at the plate against Jackson on April 2, 2012…Helped EWHS to the second round of the 4A tournament while earning All-Wesco second league honors as a junior.

Andrew Castillo, OF, 5-11, 180, R/L, Jr., Kennewick, Wash. (Yakima Valley CC)

Castillo was one of the top NWAACC outfielders in 2014 at Yakima Valley Community College under head coach Marcus McKimmy…Tallied team-highs in batting average (.364), hits (64), stolen bases (10) and games played (44) last season…Scored 34 runs, slammed six doubles, three triples and a homer with 29 RBI’s…Accounted for 20 multi-hit games, including a 5-for-5 performance against Shoreline Community College on March 21…Boasted a 17-game hitting streak from March 21 through April 16…Slugged .449 while reaching base at a .404 clip for a team that went 25-19 overall…Was a fourth outfielder as a freshman in 2013, the same year the Yaks tallied a 33-19 record…Scored nine runs while driving in 12 RBI’s in 29 games (69 at-bats) as a true freshman…Attended Kamiakin High School, where he hit .309 with 20 runs scored and 29 RBI’s in 28 games as a senior…Tallied a .350 batting average with 23 runs scored and 20 RBI’s in 26 games during his junior campaign.

Nick Pribble, INF, 6-0, 155, R/R, Jr., Mill Creek, Wash. (Bellevue College)

Pribble established himself as a slick-fielding shortstop the last two seasons for head coach Mark Yoshino at Bellevue College…Helped guide the Bulldogs to a 28-23 record and a NWAACC runner-up appearance in 2014…Recorded team-highs in doubles (11), walks (23), sacrifice hits (eight) and games played (48) as a sophomore, hitting .250 with 25 runs scored, 20 RBI’s and 16 stolen bases…Had nine multi-hit games and posted five multi-RBI outings…Was a NWAACC All-Star as a freshman in 2013, when the Bulldogs tallied a 32-20 record…Hit .273 with 39 runs scored, 23 RBI’s, 21 walks and 12 stolen bases while committing only six errors (.963 fielding percentage) in 50 games as a freshman…Compiled 13 multi-hit games, including a 4-for-4 effort with four runs scored at Olympic College on May 5, 2013…Attended Seattle Preparatory School, where he was a three-time first team All-Metro 3A infielder and first team all-state honoree for head coach Ed Paulter…Tallied a .453 batting average as a senior after hitting .446 with seven round trippers during his junior season…Helped lead SPS to the 2011 Metro League championship.

Mike Murphy, INF, 5-11, 180, R/R, Jr., Wayne, Ill. (Elgin CC)

Murphy helped Elgin Community College to a 28-19 record last season…Playing for head coach Bill Angelo, Murphy hit .357 in 40 games, scoring 36 runs with 18 RBI’s…Slugged .444 with a .418 on-base percentage, hitting seven doubles with two triples to go along with six stolen bases…Had 13 multi-hit performances, with his best game coming against Joliet Junior College on April 22 (3-for-5, 3 RBI’s, 3 runs scored)…Played in 32 games for the Spartans as a freshman in 2013, scoring 15 times while driving in 12 runs to go along with nine stolen bases…Prepped at South Elgin High School under head coach Jim Kating, where he was an all-conference honoree.

Matt Hirsch, INF, 6-0, 185, R/R, Jr., Edmonds, Wash. (Tacoma CC)

Played alongside fellow UT Martin signee Patrick Bernard at Tacoma Community College, where he was coached by Ryan Mummert…Hit .270 with 10 doubles, 25 RBI’s and 23 runs scored in 41 games played in 2014…Slugged .373 and reached base at a .369 clip…Had seven multi-hit games and six multi-RBI efforts…Played his freshman season at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. under head coach Aaron Swick…Started in all 40 games, scoring 15 runs while driving in 15 runs…Prepped at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood, Wash., where he helped guide the Mavericks to the Western Conference 3A title during his senior season, ending a 22-year drought for the school…Was a first team Wesco 3A honoree and also a second team all-state 3A recipient…Named Edmonds School District Male Athlete of the Year in 2012.

Cole Schaenzer, RHP, 6-3, 190, R/R, R-Jr., Oxford, Mich. (Macomb CC)

Schaenzer spent last season playing for head coach Joe Santilli at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich….Made three appearances in 2014, going 1-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA in 11 innings…Allowed just five hits while fanning nine batters against only two walks…Best outing of the season came in a complete game shutout where he allowed just four hits at St. Clair County Community College on May 6…Began his collegiate career at Valparaiso University in 2012, seeing time in two games as a pinch runner…Prepped at Lake Orion High School, where he was a standout for head coach Andy Schramek…Was an All-Oakland Activities Association Red Conference selection as a senior after going 4-1 with a pair of saves and a 1.42 ERA…Fanned 28 batters in 29.2 innings as a senior…Also played outfield, hitting .380 with 28 runs scored, 14 RBI’s and seven stolen bases…In addition to baseball, he led the Dragons to a state championship in football after taking over quarterback duties in the regional finals…Brother Brad will be a freshman on the University of Kentucky baseball team this spring.

Austin Taylor, INF, 6-1, 240, R/R, R-So., Friendship, Tenn. (Walters State CC)

Comes to UT Martin from Walters State Community College, where he played for head coach David Shelton…Helped guide the Senators to a 43-18 record with an appearance in the TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Tournament in 2014…Played in 42 games (33 starts) last season, scoring 24 runs to go along with 19 RBI’s…Had 11 extra-base hits (seven doubles, one triple, three homers) while posting a .407 slugging percentage and .374 on-base percentage…Batted .375 with a homer in eight at-bats as a freshman for a team that went 37-18 overall in 2013…Began his collegiate athletic playing career as a fullback on the University of Tennessee football team before transferring to Walters State…Prepped at Crockett County High School under head coach Michael Wickersham…Was an all-state honoree in both baseball and football, earning All West Tennessee MVP honors as a linebacker.

Michael Fidler, INF/RHP, 6-4, 215, R/R, Fr., Maple Park, Ill. (Aurora Central Catholic HS)

Fidler signed with the Skyhawks in the early signing period last November…Playing for head coach Sean Bieterman at Aurora Central Catholic High School, Fidler was a Perfect Game Central Region honorable mention selection in 2014, when he was named a top-25 player in his area by the Aurora Beacon-News…Earned a mound victory after going 6.2 innings against Guerin while coming away with the game-winning hit in the 10th inning against Chicago Christian…Helped guide ACCHS to the 2A regional championship in 2013, when the Chargers went 27-8 with a 13-3 Suburban Christian Conference Gold finish…Named a 2013 Perfect Game Underclassmen honorable mention all-region honoree.

Matt Poteete, LHP, 6-1, 185, R/L, Fr., Humboldt, Tenn. (Jackson Christian School)

Poteete also committed to UT Martin in the early signing period last November…Emerged as one of the state’s best pitchers, going 11-2 with a pair of saves and a 1.11 ERA in 82.1 innings over 17 appearances for head coach Chuck Cooper at Jackson Christian School…Conceded just 64 hits while striking out 124 batters with only 11 walks as a senior…Capped off a 38-8 season with the Eagles’ first state title since 2008…Pitched in four games over seven days during championship week, beginning with a complete game on the mound and slamming a three-run homer in a 3-1 win over Goodpasture in the opening round…Fanned five batters against zero walks in the 8-2 victory over Grace Christian Academy in the Class A state championship game in Murfreesboro…Played in the 2014 Billy Schrivner West Tennessee High School All-Star Game in Jackson and also took part in the 2014 Farm Bureau/Patriot Bank North Mississippi vs. West Tennessee All-Star Game in Millington…Was a first team all-state selection as a junior, leading JCS to a district title and state tournament appearance…Went 10-0 with a microscopic 0.78 ERA and a save in 81 innings spread out over 15 appearances in 2013…Allowed only 45 hits while posting an 85:16 strikeout-to-walk ratio during his junior season…Also hit .314 with 60 runs scored, 70 RBI’s, 20 doubles and 14 home runs over his final two years.

Daniel Shaw, LHP, 6-0, 180, L/L, Fr., Memphis, Tenn. (Christian Brothers HS)

Shaw also inked a National Letter of Intent with the Skyhawks during the early signing period last November…Was a big-game pitcher for head coach Buster Kelso at Christian Brothers High School…Helped the Purple Wave post a 32-8 record in 2014 after the squad won the state championship with a 36-8 record in 2013…The title was the first state championship since 2011 and the 11th in the rich history of the CBHS program…Allowed only four hits while fanning six batters over five innings in the Purple Wave’s 13-3 win over Montgomery-Bell Academy in the Division 2-AA state title game during his junior season…Tossed a complete game while allowing just one earned run on five hits against Florida Christian (Miami) in the 2013 National High School Invitational in Cary, NC.

Carson Shrode, OF, 6-2, 185, R/R, Fr., Nashville, Tenn. (Christ Presbyterian Academy)

Shrode was a standout catcher and outfielder for head coach Larry Nesbitt at Christ Presbyterian Academy…Graduated as the program’s all-time leader in hits (156), doubles (52), home runs (12) and RBI’s (112) while ranking second in career runs scored (104)…Helped lead the Lions to a 27-13 record in 2014, winning the district, regional and sectional championships…Was a career .371 hitter with a .464 on-base percentage and .612 slugging percentage in high school…Also posted a 1.89 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 107 career innings at the prep ranks…Earned the mound victory (six strikeouts, two hits allowed in five innings) and tallied the game-winning hit to snap Summertown High School’s 23-game winning streak during his senior season…Earned TBCA Region 5/6 team honors after hitting a team-high 15 doubles with a .430 batting average during a 28-13 season in 2013…Was named a “Player to Watch” by Tennessee Baseball Report after an impressive showing in the TopTenn Baseball Super Select Showcase Camp in Feb. 2013…Crushed a three-run homer in the Third Annual MidTN Class AA vs. Class A Senior All-Star Classic at Cumberland on June 7, 2014.

Carter McMackin, C, 5-9, 190, R/R, Fr., Dyer, Tenn. (Gibson County HS)

McMackin has ties to UT Martin, as his grandfather Roland is a member of the UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame…Playing for head coach Chad Jackson at nearby Gibson County High School, McMackin hit .343 with 22 RBI’s while boasting a .999 fielding percentage with 12 pickoffs as a senior…Led the Pioneers to a runner-up finish in the District 14-A tournament…Was an all-district selection and was also named to the Jackson Sun All-West Tennessee honorable mention team…Selected as one of 36 players to take part in the seventh annual Billy Schrivner West Tennessee High School All-Star Game in Jackson.

Blake Williams, INF, 5-10, 165, R/R, Fr., Clarksville, Tenn. (Rossview HS)

Williams was part of the highly successful Rossview High School program under head coach Jason Rice…Williams helped lead the Hawks to the program’s first-ever regional championship as a senior, reaching the Class AAA sectional for the fourth consecutive year…Also helped Rossview win three straight District 10 regular season and tournament championships from 2011-13.

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Rick Guarno joins Skyhawks as an assistant baseball coach

Rick Guarno joins Skyhawks as an assistant baseball coach

Posted on 20 June 2014 by Allen

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Skyhawk head baseball coach Rick Robinson has announced the hiring of Rick Guarno as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Guarno has spent the last two seasons as the recruiting coordinator alongside Robinson at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Ga. He will also serve as the recruiting coordinator and the hitting coach at UT Martin.

“Out of all of the guys that have worked for me over the last 16 years, Rick is by far the best combination of recruiting coordinator and hitting coach that I’ve had,” said Robinson, who was introduced as UT Martin’s 10th head baseball coach on June 3. “Skyhawk fans will enjoy getting to know him and his family.”

“I’d like to thank Coach Robinson and the UT Martin administration for this opportunity,” Guarno said. “I look forward to establishing a winning culture and competing for Ohio Valley Conference championships hopefully in the near future.”

Before his stint at Young Harris, Guarno spent two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, his alma mater. He helped guide the Trojans to a 2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship and the program’s first-ever NCAA Regional appearance.

In 2012, Guarno helped Arkansas-Little Rock rank in the top-10 nationally in four different offensive categories, setting program records for most home runs and triples in a single season. The Trojans ranked first in the nation in home runs per game (1.22), third in slugging percentage (.477) and sixth in scoring (7.4 runs per game). They also ranked in the top-20 nationally in on-base percentage (.395, 14th) and stolen bases per game (1.65, 20th).

Working primarily with the catchers at Arkansas-Little Rock, Guarno coached All-Sun Belt first team catchers Myles Parma and Nick Rountree. Parma hit a team-best .350 with a .439 on-base percentage in 2010 while Rountree crushed a team-high seven homers to go along with 14 doubles and 35 RBI’s in 2011.

Guarno began his collegiate playing career at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he hit .342 as a freshman to help the Retrievers advance to the 2001 NCAA Regional. The following season, he posted a .323 batting average with 10 doubles to help UMBC to a 20-7 conference record and a Northeast Conference championship game appearance.

Guarno then transferred to Arkansas-Little Rock, where he picked up All-Sun Belt first team accolades and second team ABCA Rawlings All-South Central Region honors in 2003. He started 55 games at catcher as a junior, hitting .344 with 27 doubles, 54 runs scored, 48 RBI’s and a .555 slugging percentage.

Guarno was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. He played seven seasons of professional baseball, earning a call-up to Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2008 after tallying a .290 batting average with five homers in 25 games at Double-A Tulsa. He retired from professional baseball in 2009 after winning a Golden League title with the Calgary Vipers.

A Syracuse, NY native, Guarno attended Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, NY, where he was a two-time City-Catholic League All-Star. He ranked seventh in his graduating class and was a member of the National Honors Society.

Guarno graduated from Arkansas-Little Rock in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. He is married to the former Amanda Harrison of Conway, Ark.

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Upton named Freshman All-American

Upton named Freshman All-American

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Allen

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Collegiate Baseball newspaper announced University of Tennessee at Martin’s Ben Upton as one of its Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans this afternoon.

Upton becomes the third Skyhawk baseball player to ever achieve Freshman All-American status, joining Phil Sorensen (2011) and Wes Patterson (2008) on the prestigious list.

A Kingwood, Texas native, Upton was one of five designated hitters to be named a Freshman All-American, joining Michigan’s Carmen Benedetti, USC’s Jeremy Martinez, Tennessee’s Nick Senzel and Gardner-Webb’s Matt Simmons. All in all, 95 freshmen were recognized by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, the voice of amateur baseball since 1958.

Upton developed into one of UT Martin’s best hitters and power threats during his debut season in 2014. He played in 43 games (39 of which were starts) and hit .267 with a .317 on-base percentage and .427 slugging percentage. He ranked second on the squad in hits (40), home runs (five), RBI’s (28) and total bases (64) while also cranking seven doubles and scoring 14 runs.

The 6-1, 208-pound left-handed swinging Upton led the Skyhawks with nine multi-RBI games and ranked second on the team with 10 multi-hit games. He emerged as one of the team’s best clutch hitters, hitting to the tune of .333 (19-for-57) with runners in scoring position.

This marks the second postseason accolade for Upton, who was also named to the 13-man Ohio Valley Conference All-Freshman team on May 20.

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Rick Robinson hired as Skyhawks Baseball Coach

Rick Robinson hired as Skyhawks Baseball Coach

Posted on 04 June 2014 by Allen

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University of Tennessee at Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and athletics director Julio Freire have announced the hiring of Rick Robinson as the 10th head baseball coach in Skyhawk program history.

A formal meet-and-greet to welcome Coach Robinson to UT Martin has been scheduled for Monday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the First State Bank second floor reception area on 106 University Street in Martin. All community members are welcome.

“We are very pleased to have Coach Robinson lead our baseball program into a new era,” Dr. Rakes said. “He has an extended history coaching successful college baseball programs.”

“We are ecstatic to hire a head coach of Rick Robinson’s caliber,” Freire said. “I am confident of his abilities to guide our baseball student-athletes and I am excited about the future of our program.”

Robinson brings 17 years of head coaching experience to UT Martin, including the last 16 years transforming Young Harris College into a junior college and NCAA Division-II powerhouse. Robinson sports a 699-281 career head coaching record (.713 winning percentage) and boasts four 50-win seasons, eight conference championships, five Region XVII championships and one NJCAA World Series appearance.

“I want to thank Chancellor Rakes and Julio for allowing me the opportunity to lead the UT Martin baseball program,” Robinson said. “My family and I are excited about becoming involved in the Martin community. This is the most exciting time of the year for college baseball. As I watch the postseason games it’s a great time to dream about the future of UT Martin baseball. With the help of the administration, I look forward to producing young men who know how to win in the classroom, on the diamond and in life after baseball.”

Robinson, who has never had a losing record as a head coach, averaged 49.3 wins per season from 2002-08 in the junior college ranks before Young Harris transitioned into a four-year baccalaureate school competing in Division-II in 2011. The transition did not slow down Robinson, as he guided the Mountain Lions to 114 wins over his last four seasons.

In his coaching career, Robinson has guided 38 players to the professional ranks, including 25 Major League Baseball draft selections. Current major leaguers who have played under Robinson include Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis (seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2003 MLB Draft), Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon (72nd overall pick in the second round of the 2008 MLB Draft) and Atlanta Braves right-handed pitcher Cory Gearrin (138th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2007 MLB Draft).

Robinson has coached a pair of National Players of the Year in Markakis (2003) and Bryson Smith (2009) and also worked with some of the game’s brightest college stars when he served as head coach of the Hiyamis Mets in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2008.

Robinson began his head coaching career at Brevard College in North Carolina, where he started the first baseball program in school history in 1992. In its inaugural season, Robinson posted a 33-22 overall record and a third place NJCAA Region X finish. A total of eight players from that Brevard team signed professional contracts.

Robinson then took over at Young Harris in 1999 and immediately turned the program into one of the top junior college programs in the nation. His teams went 155-29 over a three-year span (2003-05) that saw the team set school records with 52 victories in both 2003 and 2004. He also led Young Harris to the 2007 NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. and posted another 50-win campaign in 2008.

Prior to his time at Young Harris, Robinson spent four years as an assistant coach at Old Dominion University, a Division-I school located in Norfolk, Va. During his time at the baseball-rich school, he served as third base coach, camp director and recruiting coordinator.

At Old Dominion, Robinson helped the Monarchs to a pair of conference championships and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Regionals (1995-96). In four recruiting classes, he helped produce 22 players who signed professional contracts, including Tim Hummel (second round pick, 52nd overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 2000 MLB Draft). Robinson also worked with current major leaguers David Wright (New York Mets), Michael Cuddyer (Colorado Rockies), Justin Upton (Atlanta Braves) and BJ Upton (Atlanta Braves) in Old Dominion’s camps.

Before his appointment at Brevard College, Robinson posted a .672 winning percentage at the high school level in North Carolina. He led West Henderson High School in Hendersonville to its first-ever winning season and first berth in the state playoffs and also had a successful stint at Pisgah High School in Canton.

A Brevard, NC native, Robinson played collegiate baseball at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He earned his degree from Appalachian State and later earned a Master’s degree from Furman University.

Robinson is married to the former Luann DeGroat of Hawley, Pa. The couple has been married for over 20 years and has three children: Faithe (17), Rhett (14) and Ryan (11).

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Upton named to OVC All-Freshman Team

Upton named to OVC All-Freshman Team

Posted on 23 May 2014 by Allen

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Ben Upton, primarily a designated hitter on the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team, was voted to the 13-man Ohio Valley Conference All-Freshman team by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

A 6-1, 208-pound native of Kingwood, Texas, Upton becomes the ninth player in UT Martin baseball history to earn OVC All-Freshman accolades.

Upton made a splash early in the season and his hot bat kept him as a mainstay in the middle of the Skyhawk lineup in 2014. He emerged as a hero in the Eastern Michigan series on Feb. 21-23, scoring and driving in at least one run in all three games. He also had another remarkable series at Morehead State on April 17-19, hitting .462 (6-for-13) with a pair of round trippers and seven RBI’s.

Overall, Upton capped off his debut season with a .267 batting average, five home runs and 28 RBI’s in 150 at-bats spread over 43 games (39 starts). Against OVC foes, he tallied a team-high three homers and 21 RBI’s in 28 contests.

Upton led the Skyhawks with nine multi-RBI games this season, including a career-high four RBI effort against SIU Edwardsville on May 2. In fact, seven of his multi-RBI outings came against OVC pitching. He also pieced together 10 multi-hit performances – including a trio of three-hit games (against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 23, at Morehead State on April 19, against Eastern Illinois on May 16).

Despite the fact that he is a left-handed batter, Upton posted the second-best batting average on the team against southpaw pitchers, hitting at a .333 clip (10-for-30). He also excelled in the clutch, accumulating a .333 batting average (19-for-57) with runners in scoring position.

In addition to his designated hitter duties, Upton also showed flawless defense in 2014. He played in six games at first base and boasted a 1.000 fielding percentage (no errors) in 46 chances.

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Skyhawks fall to Eastern Illinois 5-1 in season finale

Skyhawks fall to Eastern Illinois 5-1 in season finale

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Allen

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Redshirt senior Alex Boshers delivered an inspired start this afternoon for the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team but the offense came too late in a 5-1 loss to Eastern Illinois at Skyhawk Field.

UT Martin concludes the 2014 season with a 9-42 record and 5-25 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play.

Boshers was joined alongside fellow seniors John Houston, Zack Malone, John Skubina and Phil Sorensen in an on-field pregame ceremony recognizing their career accomplishments at UT Martin.

A right-hander who had threw seven shutout innings earlier this month in a 4-0 win at Lipscomb, Boshers accounted for another quality start today. He yielded just three runs while fanning six batters over a season-high 7.1 innings, gutting his way through 123 pitches. The Nashville, Tenn. native allowed just one run through his first seven innings of work but fell to 1-4 on the season.

Taylor Douglas ended his remarkable junior season with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, his 21st multi-hit performance of 2014. Andrew Massey (run scored) and Mikey Nantze (RBI) got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth with doubles to deep centerfield.

Boshers stranded a pair of Panthers on the basepaths in the first inning and got all three outs via groundballs in the top of the second.

Eastern Illinois (21-31-1, 15-14-1 OVC) broke the scoreless tie with an RBI groundout in the top of the third. Boshers bounced back with a nine-pitch scoreless fourth.

Boshers pitched around two more baserunners in the fifth to keep the score at 1-0. He then picked up a pair of strikeouts during a perfect sixth inning and left two more Eastern Illinois baserunners stranded in a shutout seventh.

The first four Panthers reached base in the top of the eighth and two runs came around to score before Houston needed only five pitches to get two outs and strand the bases loaded.

In the top of the eighth, Massey crushed a 1-1 pitch for a one-out double over the centerfielder’s head. Two batters later, Nantze ripped a 2-1 offering for another double over the centerfielder’s head, plating Massey and making the score 3-1.

A pair of errors led to two unearned runs for Eastern Illinois in the top of the ninth. Douglas would reach base on a single in the bottom of the ninth but Panther starting pitcher Joe Greenfield went the distance, capping off his complete game effort with a flyout and groundout to end the contest.

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Skyhawks blank Lipscomb 4-0

Skyhawks blank Lipscomb 4-0

Posted on 07 May 2014 by Allen

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Nico Zych drove in three runs and the University of Tennessee at Martin pitching staff tossed its first shutout of the season in a convincing 4-0 Skyhawk victory over in-state rival Lipscomb this evening at Ken Dugan Field.

Batting out of the No. 9 hole tonight, Zych reached base three times on a pair of singles and a walk. As a result, the junior out of Monee, Ill. collected a season-high three RBI’s to go along with his fourth multi-hit performance in 2014.

Isaac Carrel started at designated hitter tonight and scored a pair of runs, while Jake Deason (run scored), Chase Young (run scored) and Phil Sorensen (RBI) also stood out offensively for UT Martin (8-36), who has won four of its last seven games.

Alex Boshers (1-2) helped the Skyhawks post their first shutout since a 1-0 win over IPFW on Feb. 24, 2013. Pitching in his hometown, Boshers went seven strong innings (a season-high), allowing just six singles with three strikeouts against zero walks. Stu Jones effectively worked the eighth inning and John Houston shut the door with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.

In addition to its first shutout in 88 games, the Skyhawk pitching staff did not concede an extra-base hit for the second time this season (previously done at UAB in the season-opener on Feb. 14) and did not issue a walk for the fourth time this season (other instances at Jacksonville State on March 7, vs. Murray State on March 15 and vs. Missouri State on April 25).

Lipscomb (27-22) led off the bottom of the first with a single but five pitches later, Boshers was out of the inning thanks to a double play and flyout to right.

After a one-out single in the second, Boshers entered a groove – as he retired six straight Lipscomb batters. Boshers’ dominant stretch allowed the Skyhawks to take a lead in the top of the fifth.

Carrel and Deason each singled to begin the fifth and were moved into scoring position when Mikey Nantze perfectly executed a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher. Zych then jumped on the first pitch he saw for a single up the middle to give the Skyhawks a 2-0 advantage.

Those two runs would prove to be enough for Boshers, who pitched around a one-out single in the fifth and avoided trouble once again in the sixth by stranding a pair of Bison runners on the basepaths.

The Skyhawks added an insurance run in each of the next two innings. Carrel was hit by a pitch to lead off the seventh and advanced to second thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Deason. Zych then stepped to the plate and lined a two-out single to center to plate Carrel and make the score 3-0.

Boshers then polished off his evening with a lights-out seventh, racking up a pair of strikeouts and inducing a groundout to shortstop in a perfect frame.

Young doubled to lead off the eighth and two outs later, Sorensen turned on the first pitch he saw for an RBI single through the right side.

Lipscomb was able to tally a one-out single in the eighth but Jones erased any kind of potential threat with a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Houston then induced a groundout and followed with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth to clinch the victory for UT Martin.

The Skyhawks return to Ohio Valley Conference play with a three-game weekend set at Austin Peay on May 9-11.

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Skyhakws fall to Morehead State 6-4

Skyhakws fall to Morehead State 6-4

Posted on 19 April 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team kept it close this afternoon but could not prevail in a 6-4 loss at Ohio Valley Conference rival Morehead State.

The Skyhawks (4-33, 3-18 OVC) led 2-0 after the top of the fourth but Morehead State answered with six unanswered runs over the next three innings. UT Martin would respond with two runs in the top of the seventh but could not trim its deficit any further than that.

Freshman Ben Upton concluded his stellar series with another monster effort at the plate, tying a career-high with three hits to go along with two RBI’s and a run scored. The Kingwood, Texas native also homered for his team-leading fourth round-tripper of the season.

Nico Zych also had two hits, a run scored and an RBI while Jake Deason drove in a run for UT Martin. Taylor Cox and Nick Molina also scored a run apiece to lead the offense.

On the hill, Alex Martin allowed three earned runs over 4.1 innings but fell to 0-7 on the season. Alex Boshers came on in relief and pitched well, conceding just one run over 3.2 innings of work.

The Skyhawks managed three hits in the top of the first but could not manufacture a run. Chase Young, Taylor Douglas and Ben Upton each singled but all three were left stranded on the basepaths.

Morehead State (21-18, 10-8 OVC) would single to open the bottom of the first but Martin needed just seven pitches to get through the inning, inducing a flyout and 6-4-3 double play.

UT Martin also had a pair of baserunners aboard in the top of the second but couldn’t get on the scoreboard. Martin relied on the double play ball once again in the second, as a 4-3 double play groundout ended the inning.

Martin continued his groove in the third, as he only conceded a meaningless two-out walk on his way to another shutout frame.

The Skyhawks got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Molina led things off with a double to right center and came around to score when Zych lined a sharp single to center. Zych would then steal second and later advance to third on a wild pitch, setting up Deason for an RBI single that made the score 2-0.

UT Martin’s lead would not last long, as the Eagles scored three runs (two earned) in the bottom half of the fourth. Morehead State had three hits and took advantage of another Skyhawk error in the fifth to go on top by a 5-2 margin.

Morehead State would add another run on an RBI groundout in the sixth but UT Martin would get two runs back in the seventh. Cox roped a leadoff double into the gap in left center to ignite the rally. After working the count full, Upton found his pitch and pulverized a homer to right field to pull the Skyhawks within two runs at 6-4.

Boshers then made quick work out of Morehead State in the seventh and also posted a shutout frame in the eighth to give the Skyhawks an opportunity to win the game.

Upton reached on a two-base fielding error to start off the ninth and Molina followed with a walk to bring the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs. However, the Eagles escaped with a double play and game-ending strikeout.

The Skyhawks open up a seven-game homestand with a midweek outing against Saint Louis on Tuesday, April 22. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

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Skyhawks fall to Southern Illinois 16-5

Skyhawks fall to Southern Illinois 16-5

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Allen

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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.

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Southeast Missouri tops UT Martin 11-1

Southeast Missouri tops UT Martin 11-1

Posted on 30 March 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team matched Ohio Valley Conference leader Southeast Missouri pitch for pitch through six innings before the Redhawks used a late surge to claim an 11-1 win at Skyhawk Field this afternoon.

The Skyhawks (3-22, 2-10 OVC) were in the game early thanks to a great start by Alex Martin, who departed the game with UT Martin trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning. Martin would ultimately receive the hard luck loss after allowing four runs on five hits over 6.1 frames.

Offensively, Taylor Cox tallied an RBI while Kenny King scored UT Martin’s lone run. The Skyhawks were stymied for the third straight game against the Southeast Missouri pitching staff, as UT Martin could only muster a pair of hits on the day.

Southeast Missouri (17-10, 10-2 OVC) was led by first baseman Matt Tellor, who went 4-for-5 with three home runs, four runs scored and five RBI’s. Spot starter Alex Winkelman earned the win after allowing two hits over six innings.

The Redhawks got on the scoreboard first thanks to a two-out solo homer by Tellor in the top of the first. Martin then got through a scoreless second to help the Skyhawks tie the contest in the bottom of the frame.

King laced a one-out double into the gap in left center to give UT Martin its first baserunner of the game. King then advanced to third on a passed ball and would come in to score on an RBI groundout off the bat of Cox.

Tellor once again gave Southeast Missouri the lead in the top of the third, recording his second solo homer of the contest.

Martin would then find a groove, as he shut out the high-powered Redhawk offense over the next three innings. His best work came in the top of the sixth when Southeast Missouri began the frame with a double and a walk but Martin bounced back to strand both runners and keep the score at 2-1.

Southeast Missouri then broke the game open with five runs in the top of the seventh, including a three-run homer by Tellor immediately following a Skyhawk pitching change.

The Redhawks added three runs in the top of the eighth and although UT Martin would load the bases in the bottom half of the frame, the Skyhawks could not break through for a run.

Southeast Missouri would then add a run in the top of the ninth to wrap up the 11-1 win.

UT Martin now travels to take on No. 5 Vanderbilt on Tuesday, April 1. First pitch time from Hawkins Field is set for 6:30 p.m.

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Chris Chism throws one hitter to lift Tenn Tech past UT Martin 2-0

Chris Chism throws one hitter to lift Tenn Tech past UT Martin 2-0

Posted on 24 March 2014 by Allen

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It wasn’t quite a no-hitter, but junior Chris Chism did more than enough to lead the Tennessee Tech baseball team to its 19th victory Sunday afternoon, tossing a complete-game shutout and allowing just one hit over nine innings to help the Golden Eagles blank UT Martin, 2-0.

A transfer from St. Petersburg College, Chism was as good as it gets against the Skyhawks, dominating from beginning to end. The right hander struck out a career-high 10 batters while surrendering no walks and allowing just four runners on base all day. Chism hit three batters and gave up a double in the seventh inning.

Even with a small margin of victory, the Golden Eagles truly dominated the entire contest, seeing some bad luck prevent more runs from crossing as Tech unleashed the bats for 10 hits and five walks. The Skyhawks came up clutch in several situations, stranding 10 Golden Eagle runners in scoring position and 11 on base in the game.

The Tech squad managed to scrape runs across both the fourth and fifth innings, using an RBI off the bat of senior Zach Zarzour to score the deciding run. With the bases loaded and one out, Zarzour ripped a ball towards the right field line. UT Martin first baseman Taylor Cox made a heck of a play, stabbing the ball and taking it to first base for a sure out. But his throw home to try and get Tyler Brazelton at the plate came too late as Tech jumped to a 1-0 lead.

Tech doubled its lead in the next frame, using a leadoff single by third baseman Daniel Miles to start things off. After stealing second, Miles came all the way around off the strength of an RBI single by slugger Zach Stephens.

Chism had his repetroire working well during the contest, keeping the UT Martin batters off balance with an array of pitches. The junior became just the sixth Golden Eagle to toss a one-hitter in the program’s history, and the second to do it in at least nine innings. The nine-inning feat had not been accomplished since 1975 when Ralph Mallicoat did it against Milligan College.

Miles kept his impressive hot streak running with a 2-for-3 day at the dish, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and improving his team-leading batting average to .444. Shortstop Dylan Bosheers went 2-for-4 on the day, upping his average to .402 for the season.

The Golden Eagles will take a short break before returning to action Tuesday evening when they host Miami (OH) in the first of a two-game set. Opening pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex as the Tech team looks to get in a groove before returning to Ohio Valley Conference play.

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Skyhakws Baseball falls to Tenn Tech 14-5

Skyhakws Baseball falls to Tenn Tech 14-5

Posted on 22 March 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team struck first in tonight’s game against Tennessee Tech but the Golden Eagle offense proved to be too much for the Skyhawks in a 14-5 loss at Bush Stadium.

UT Martin (2-18, 1-6 OVC) pounded out 11 hits this evening, led by three hits and an RBI out of Jake Deason. Ben Upton (two RBI’s) and Taylor Douglas (one run scored) also produced two hits while Max Balter (two runs scored), Fletcher Johnson (one run scored), Taylor Cox (one run scored) and Mikey Nantze (one RBI) also contributed to the Skyhawk offense tonight.

On the mound, Cox (0-5) was charged with the loss after allowing seven earned runs over 2.2 innings. Alex Boshers (four runs in three innings), Chris Flores (1.1 scoreless innings) and Cody Miller (two runs in one inning) also made relief appearances for the Skyhawks this evening.

Drew Erie led the game off with a single and eventually moved up to third base but UT Martin couldn’t push across a run in the top of the first.

Cox then needed only seven pitches to retire Tennessee Tech in order in the bottom of the first. Cox then led the second inning off with a triple to center field, leading to the Skyhawks’ first run of the game. Nantze drove in Cox with a groundout to the right side but UT Martin wasn’t done as the next batter – Balter – drew a walk to keep the inning going. Deason then ripped a double to the gap out in right center to put baserunners on second and third with two outs. Balter would later score on a failed pickoff attempt to give the Skyhawks a 2-0 lead early.

Tennessee Tech (18-4, 5-2 OVC) would then add four runs in the bottom of the second and four more runs in the bottom of the third before Cox recovered to shut down the Golden Eagles in the fourth and fifth frames.

UT Martin used a two-out rally to get one run back in the sixth. Balter was issued yet another walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a pitching change, Deason ripped a single up the middle to plate Balter and make the score 8-3.

However, Tennessee Tech scored four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead out to 12-3.

The Skyhawks scored two runs in the seventh, starting off with a Johnson triple on the first pitch of the inning. Douglas was then hit by a pitch to put baserunners on the corners with no outs. Upton then worked the count full before guiding a double down the right field line to make the score 12-5. UT Martin would pose a threat later on in the inning by loading the bases but Tennessee Tech escaped the jam.

The Golden Eagles added two more runs in the eighth to provide the final scoring margin.

These two teams will resume their series on Saturday, March 22. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

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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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