COA News 2024



MARTIN, Tenn.– The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team made a strong charge late, but fell 4-2 in Game 2 of the weekend series against Southern Indiana.

Will Smith went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI while Jalen Fithian (one RBI), MacDanford (one point scored) and Zac Rice (one point scored) each contributed offensively for the Skyhawks.

On the hill, Erik Steensma (2-5) threw seven innings and allowed only four hits without walks, but was charged with the bad luck loss. Zach Bet threw a scoreless frame out of the bullpen to close out the game for UT Martin (14-24, 6-8 Ohio Valley Conference).

Steensma started the day with a groove, retiring eight of the first nine batters he faced. However, he ran into trouble with two outs in the third inning as the Screaming Eagles (16-23, 6-8 OVC) scored four runs for their only scoring frame of the day.

Steensma responded extremely well and did not allow another single until one out was scored in the seventh inning. The righty from Western Springs, Illinois was perfect in the fourth, needing just 10 pitches to get through the fifth and retiring the side on eight pitches in the sixth.

Meanwhile, the Skyhawks got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning. Rice singled with one out and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Two pitches later, he raced home on a Smith RBI single to make it 4-1.

Danford, Alec Beaman and Fithian each had singles in the top of the seventh, with the latter getting an RBI to make it 4-2. In his final inning of work, Steensma got an unconventional inning-ending 8-3 double play when a Rice outfield assist erased an innocent one-out single.

Smith led off the eighth with a double to come within 100 feet of scoring, but the Eagles maintained their two-run lead. Bet entered the home half and produced two flyouts and a punchout, recording a fifth straight out.

However, UT Martin was unable to get the tying run in the top of the ninth.

The Skyhawks will now focus on the rubber match tomorrow at 1:00 PM on ESPN+.