Skyhawks’ next trip short ride to Murray
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 12:00 pm
The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball squad returns to Ohio Valley Conference action this weekend when it takes on Murray State at Reagan Field.
The two teams will play at 2 p.m. today and Friday with the finale taking place at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
After a stretch where the Skyhawks won four of five games, including a series victory over Tennessee Tech in their OVC opener, UT Martin has dropped the first four games of its current eight-game road swing.
In the three-game set last season in Martin, Murray State won two of three in a wild series. The Skyhawks held a lead in both of the first two games, but Murray State posted comeback victories in each game of the Saturday doubleheader. In the series finale, UT Martin battled back from an 11-0 deficit after three innings to claim a 14-13 walk-off win thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Wes Patterson.
This series will be the beginning of a friendly rivalry involving a coach in each dugout. UT Martin’s first-year graduate assistant Zac Cole and Murray State’s second-year assistant Chris Cole are brothers and each serve as the pitching coach for their respective schools.
The Skyhawks (8-20, 2-4 OVC) will go with their usual OVC pitching rotation this weekend.
Junior right-hander Alec Mills (2-3, 4.43) will get the call today, followed by senior righty Willie Frederick (1-4, 4.59) in Game 2.
Freshman southpaw Carter Smith (3-0, 5.40) will likely start the series finale on Saturday.
Murray State (14-16, 1-5 OVC) was swept by Tennessee Tech on the road last weekend, with a pair of losses coming by one run apiece.
The Thoroughbreds also hosted Southern Illinois on Tuesday, falling 13-10.
The ’Breds offense boasts four regulars who hit above .300, led by Ty Stetson (.352 batting average, .517 on-base percentage). Seniors Jacob Rhodes (team-high 25 RBI) and Travis Isaak (OVC-best 17 doubles) have also been reliable middle-of-the-order threats for Murray State.
Murray State is expected to throw Alex Gordon (1-2, 2.70), Tyler Beers (3-2, 5.54) and Bryan Babin (2-2, 4.91) in the series.
Murray State holds a 58-27 advantage in the all-time series, which began in 1983. Published in The WCP 4.5.12