By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
MARTIN, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech baseball struggled to get runners across the plate Thursday evening, falling to in-state and Ohio Valley Conference rival UT Martin at Skyhawk Field by a final score of 6-2.
The Golden Eagles (22-30, 9-19) stranded nine runners throughout the contest, being held at bay by Skyhawk starter Austen Bullington through six innings.
Tech finally broke through in the seventh inning, cutting a 4-0 deficit in half with a pair of runs. Junior Anthony Carrera was plunked by a pitch with one out in the frame, and All-American Kevin Strohschein followed with a single through the left side.
The two veterans advanced a base on a wild pitch. Later in the at bat, Carrera crossed home plate and Strohschein took third on a passed ball, officially putting Tech on the board. Freshman John Dyer then smashed a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly, driving in Strohschein for the second run.
The Skyhawks would answer in the bottom half, hitting their second home run of the game to make it a 6-2 contest. UT Martin reliever Zach Denney picked up his third save of the year by closing out the final three innings with just the two runs allowed.
In the contest, Strohschein led Tech with three hits in five at bats, including Tech's only extra-base hit, a double in the third frame. Junior Gavin Johns and freshman JD Funk each posted multi-hit performances as well.
Senior southpaw Andrew O'Dwyer pitched well in the tough loss, completing six innings with seven strikeouts and just four runs allowed on six hits and a walk. Fellow senior Zack Wilcox tossed a scoreless frame with a pair of punch outs and no runners allowed.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. CT start Friday afternoon.
Photo by Tony Marable