Even with the worst team in the league coming into town, the Govs soon realized you have to compete in every contest.
UT Martin, a team that had previously won just four Ohio Valley Conference games, upset APSU 6-3 in 12 innings on Saturday, May 10 at Raymond C. Hand Park.
The Skyhawks were able to drive in three go-ahead runs in the top of the twelfth, and the Govs offense which totaled 19 strikeouts in the contest, could not overcome the efforts by the opposition’s pitching staff.
UT Martin got on the board first as Nick Molina hit his first home run of the season to give the visitors a 3-0 lead. Alex Robles started on the mound for APSU, and lasted just two innings to tie his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander had the same result in his first career start on Feb. 15, but on Saturday, Robles had thrown only 42 pitches before he was replaced.
In the bottom of the first, the Govs were able to drive home a pair of runs as Robles helped his case to get two back off UT Martin’s Taylor Cox. Garrett Copeland would go on to tie the game the following inning with a RBI single.
The score would stay knotted at 3-3 until the twelfth inning as both bullpens were very effective.
On the APSU side, it was senior Kevin Corey who gave the Govs an impressive five and a third innings of work after moving from third base. The Govs had made six pitching changes prior to his entrance, but after a stretch of retiring 12 batters in a row, they rode his hot hand until the Skyhawks took the lead.
UT Martin’s Carter Smith was marvelous in relief as the left-hander who was born without a right hand pitching seven and a third innings, allowing just three hits while striking out 11 batters. APSU head coach Gary McClure said he wasn’t necessarily doing anything special. His key was painting the outside corner all night, and either got calls or forced hitters to try and do too much with them.
Corey spoke afterward and was frustrated with the team’s will to compete late in the game. The senior said they can’t look around the league to see what other teams are doing. It’s all about focusing on what they have to do to make the postseason, which is win.
The Govs will have another chance to do so on Sunday, May 11 in Game 2 of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with senior recognition being held prior to the contest.