UTM baseball splits pair with Jackrabbits
Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 12:01 am
MARTIN, Tenn. – Once the rain showers finally moved away from the northwest Tennessee area, The University of Tennessee at Martin took Game 1 of the South Dakota State series and fell 2-0 in a pitcher’s duel immediately following the conclusion of the first game Sunday afternoon.
The first game of the series – which was originally scheduled for last Friday but was postponed after the score was tied 3-3 in the bottom of the second inning – ended with a Skyhawk offensive explosion. UT Martin scored five unanswered runs out of the gate and got a superb outing from sophomore Alec Mills in a 14-5 victory.
Mills allowed just one earned run while throwing 103 pitches in six innings to earn his first victory of the season. Freshman Stu Jones needed just eight pitches to toss a scoreless ninth inning for the Skyhawks.
At the plate, Cody Terry and Phil Sorensen each had three hits, while Trey Karlen and Chase Okey each scored three runs. Sorensen – who socked a three-run homer on Friday before play was postponed – added another RBI Sunday to give him four for the game.
Jordan Owen brought in Matt Milligan on a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and Karlen scored after stealing third base and advancing to home on a throwing error to give the Skyhawks a 5-3 lead.
UT Martin added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cory Stooksbury smoked a one-out single to left field, then came around to score on a Karlen double. Terry ripped a 3-2 pitch for a double down the left field line to plate Karlen. Terry was driven in on a RBI single by Jordan Owen.
The Jackrabbits scored an unearned run in the fifth inning, but Sorensen got the run back for the Skyhawks in the bottom half of the inning. The freshman doubled down the right field line to bring Okey home from first base and make the score 9-4.
Terry ignited another big inning for UT Martin in the sixth with a one-out single. Owen and Wes Patterson then drew back-to-back walks, and all players advanced on a wild pitch. Okey sent a single up the middle to score Owen and Patterson to close out the three-run inning and give the Skyhawks a 12-4 edge.
A South Dakota State two-out single in the top of the seventh cut into UT Martin’s lead, but the Skyhawks struck for runs in each of the next two innings. Karlen launched a solo homer to left field in the seventh, while pinch-hitter Eric Ranson stroked a two-out RBI double to left field in the bottom of the eighth.
In Game 2 of the series, the Skyhawks once again received another sterling effort from junior Danny Kelley and out-hit the Jackrabbits by a 7-6 margin, but couldn’t solve South Dakota State starting pitcher Blake Treinen. Treinen struck out the side in the first two innings, fanning 11 overall while allowing zero runs in eight innings to pick up the win.
Kelley, who lowered his season ERA to 1.96 Sunday, was just as good. The Arlington Heights, Ill., native scattered four hits over seven innings while not issuing a single walk. He held the Jackrabbits scoreless through six innings before allowing a run in the seventh inning. Willie Frederick closed out the game with two innings out of the bullpen, allowing just one unearned run.
Owen led the team with two hits, while Karlen, Terry, Okey, Sorensen and Drew Mason each had a hit for UT Martin.
Okey and Mason produced consecutive singles to open the second inning, but Treinen fired 12 consecutive strikes to tally three strikeouts and escape the potential Skyhawk threat.
Kelley improved as the game went on, retiring the side in order in the sixth inning. The next inning, Andrew Phelan led things off for the Jackrabbits with a single, then Daniel Telford doubled him home on the next at-bat to break the scoreless tie.
South Dakota State tallied another unearned run in the eighth inning, but the Skyhawks put the tying run on base in the eighth inning. Karlen and Terry both singled through the left side with two outs, but Karlen was caught in a rundown between second and third base and the Jackrabbits escaped the jam.
Trever Vermeulen took over for Treinen in the ninth inning and picked up his first save of the season by retiring the side in order.
UT Martin will host a three-game series with Purdue University beginning at 4 on Friday afternoon.