After a loss in which the baseball Colonels allowed 20 runs to the University of Tennessee at Martin, Eastern was able to bounce back and win its final two games of the three game series against its conference foe.
The three-day weekend series began with a game at 5 p.m., Friday, April 8, followed by one game on Saturday, April 9 and another on Sunday, April 10 in Martin, Tenn.
With wins on Saturday and Sunday, the Colonels sit two games below .500 in both its overall and conference records. Eastern (15-17, 5-7 OVC) ranks seventh in the conference standings.
U.T. Martin (8-24, 3-12) currently ranks ninth in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) standings, and the Skyhawks’ win over Eastern on Friday ended U.T. Martin’s 12-game losing streak.
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In the first game of the series, the Skyhawks had an offensive outburst in the bottom of the fourth and fifth inning to put the game out of reach. U.T. Martin scored six runs in the fourth and nine runs in the fifth. All six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning were scored off of three home runs.
The Skyhawks had a total of 21 hits to the Colonels 10 during the game.
Outfielder Nick Gavello was huge for U.T. Martin, going 3 for 4 with a home run and six RBI’s. Designated hitter Austin Taylor had two hits and five RBI’s in four at-bats.
Freshman outfielder Dakota Graham went 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBI’s for Eastern, while senior outfielder Kyle Nowlin registered two hits and a run in four at-bats.
Pitcher Alex Evans (1-5) for U.T. Martin was credited with the win after four innings of relief. Junior right-hander Eric Nerl (3-2) received the loss after giving up eight hits and six runs in just over three innings pitched.
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Eastern third baseman Mandy Alvarez singled to right field in the top of the eighth inning to give the Colonels a timely two-run cushion over the Skyhawks.
Ben Fisher led the Colonels at the plate on Saturday, going 3 for 4 with one run and one RBI. Nowlin had two hits in four at-bats with one run and one RBI as well.
Catcher Daniel Kerwin led U.T. Martin at the plate with two hits and two runs in three at-bats.
Left-hander Alex Hamilton (3-3) received start and the win for Eastern after pitching 5.2 innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits. Junior Brian Mroz earned his fourth save of the season for the Colonels after allowing just one earned run to close the game out.
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After suffering a blowout loss to U.T. Martin on Friday, the Colonels were able to get revenge with a demanding victory to win the weekend series.
Eastern scored 16 runs on 13 hits and only allowed five total hits to the Skyhawks.
Nowlin hit a grand-slam in the top of the sixth inning to give Eastern a 7-1 lead. Nowlin finished the game 1 for 4 with four RBI’s. The home run was Nowlin’s thirteenth of the season.
Colonel second baseman Alex Holderbach went 1 for 3 at the plate with two runs and three RBI’s. Holderbach hit a homer in the top of the seventh inning.
Kerwin had three hits in his four at-bats for the Skyhawks.
Sophomore Hunter Dunn (2-3) earned the win for Eastern, pitching five innings and allowing just one earned run. Dunn had seven strikeouts.
Patrick Bernard (3-2) was credited with the loss for U.T. Martin after allowing three earned runs and five hits during four innings on the mound.
The Colonels will be back in action at 7 p.m., Friday, April 15, when Eastern hosts Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (5-23, 3-12 OVC) for a three-game weekend series at Turkey Hughes Field.