MARTIN, Tenn. – The UT-Martin Skyhawks bounced back from a double loss yesterday to hand the Golden Eagles their first in-conference loss in 12 OVC contests.
Today's loss breaks Tech's 11 game win streak in the Ohio Valley Conference and prevented the fourth straight series sweep for the Golden Eagles, who's domination over EIU, Morehead State and APSU fueled them to second place in the OVC.
Martin's left-hander Brendan Lozupone got off to a rough start on the mound, hitting Tech leadoff batter Austin Wulf and no. 2 hitter Tate McMillan. Chad Oberacker's base hit through the right side scored Wulf from second for the first run of the game.
The Skyhawks responded when Cody Terry singled to singled and advanced on a fielder's choice play when Ty Nelson grounded out to second. Wes Patterson's single up the middle tied the game at one all before the game-breaking second inning.
The Golden Eagles came out strong in the second inning with quick singles from Devin Rivers and Frankie Beech. A groundout by Wulf advanced both runners into scoring position for McMillan, who's base hit through the right side scored Rivers. With runners on the corners, A.J. Kirby-Jones walked to load the bases, and Oberacker stepped up to rip a neat single up the middle for two more runs, giving Tech a 4-1 lead. Oberacker went 3-for-4 on the day with three RBI's and a walk.
The bottom of the second was critical for Tech however as Martin batters worked freshman Tristan Archer for six runs on seven hits. Singles from Drew Mason, Matt Young and Cory Stooksbury, the first three batters in Martin's second inning lineup, loaded the bases for Trey Karlen. Archer got Karlen swinging, but gave up a two run double to Cody Terry. Ty Nelson's single advanced Terry and scored Young, while Wes Patterson brought Terry across the plate with a double down the left field line. Archer induced a groundout from Jordan Owen for out number two of the inning, but with runners in scoring position Brent Morris singled up the middle for two more RBI's, giving Martin a 7-4 lead. Nick Price came in to relieve Archer and stranded two men on base after walking Drew Mason and pitching a pop-up foul out to Stooksbury.
Tech rallied in the third and fourth innings to tie the game at eight all. With two outs in the third inning, Chad Hayes singled to left field and Beech walked, setting Austin Wulf up for a deep double to right center field that would score both base runners. Hayes went 3-for-4 and contributed one RBI on the day. Martin responded with a homer from Trey Karlen to make the score 8-6 in their favor, but Tech capitalized on an error by Karlen and hits from Casanova Donaldson, Hayes and Beech for two more runs to tie the game.
Chason Choate kept UT-Martin scoreless through the fourth and fifth innings and only allowed a single run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Skyhawks up by one. Tech added a run in the top of the eighth, but Martin secured the game in the bottom of the eighth by earning three runs on three hits off of Choate and an error.
Tech boasted 14 hits for the game, but couldn't respond in the top of the ninth for the win. Choate, having pitched five innings, was charged for the loss bringing his record to 2-3. Drew Flaniken earned the win for the Skyhawks, who had 19 hits.
The Golden Eagles will return home for a mid-week game against Western Carolina on Tuesday, May 18.