Martin, Tenn. The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team had just one strike left in its opening night series against Valparaiso, but the Beacons rallied to tie the game in the ninth and keep it within 10.Th In a 5-4 Skyhawk fall.
The Skyhawks overcame a 3-1 deficit after six innings to take a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth, set up by UT Martin’s impressive rally. UT Martin put runners on the base paths in both the ninth and 10th inningsTh But the innings could not win or extend the run.
Will Smith And Mac Dunford Each had a multi-hit effort and drove in a run for the Skyhawks (3-5). Blaise Bell He reached base three times (double, two walks) and scored a pair of runs. Exiting the lined 2-hole, Caleb Hobson He swiped three stolen bases today – one shy of the school’s all-time record set in 1986 when Josh Hauser stole three bases on Feb. 25, 2017 at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
On the mound, starter Jordan Armstrong He allowed just two runs over six innings with one walk, but he didn’t figure in the decision. J. Henry Hobson And Colin Millar He did not allow an earned run in one inning appearance.
Armstrong was the pitcher’s bullpen for most of the game against Connor Lockwood, the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week. The Beacons got on the scoreboard first with one run in the second, but Armstrong did a masterful job of chipping in with the bases loaded to limit the damage to one run.
Armstrong got some help from the defense as a freshman at UT Martin Jackson Cook The Skyhawks caught a runner trying to steal second in the third inning before turning a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth.
UT Martin tied things at 1-all in the bottom of the fourth. Hobson singled to lead off the frame and stole second. After two pumpkins, Jack Kulumovich A single to mid off to bowl Hobson with ease.
Valparaiso singled in the fifth, but Armstrong botched a potentially dangerous situation in the sixth. The Beacons led off the inning with back-to-back singles, but the righty from McDonough, Ga. Valparaiso went scoreless in the final frame.
After the Beacons pushed across an unearned run in the seventh, the Skyhawks got one back in the bottom half. Bell, Cook and Dunford each drew walks and following Valparaiso’s buzzer beater; Alec Beeman Martin jumped on the first pitch he saw for an RBI single to trim UT’s deficit to 3-2.
Millar silenced the Beacon bats in the top of the eighth, ringing a pair of hits and going on just 12 pitches. This set the stage for the Skyhawk’s offense to have a big bottom.
After two quick outs, Bell ripped a double down the left field line and sped home on Smith’s RBI single. Slade Taylor He then followed with a single to force another Valparaiso buzzer beater. With the score tied at 3-all, Danford hit an opposite field single to score Smith and send UT Martin into a frenzy after taking his first lead of the day.
Campbell Cleveland (0-1) then came in and had a potential out at third on a 1-2 count before Beacon singled in the game-tying run.
The speedy Hobson almost gave the Skyhawks a walk-off victory in the bottom half. He was given a five-pitch walk and promptly stole both second and third base, putting the winning streak 90 feet away with one out. However, UT Martin was unable to produce a run and the contest went into extra innings.
Valparaiso came up with another two-out RBI in the 10thTh. The Skyhawks put the tying run in the bottom half when Taylor was hit by a pitch and replaced with a pinch runner. Hunter McLean. Unfortunately, the Beacons were able to escape unscathed to get the win.
The third and final game of the series is scheduled for Sunday, February 26 at 1 p.m
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