Wednesday night at chilly Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium the Bisons spotted Tennessee-Martin’s Skyhawks a 5-1 lead in the first three innings and never were able to mount an offensive attack until the ninth inning when they scored three runs in a 10-6 loss.
Allen Bolden led the Bisons with two runs batted in, including a solo home run, his sixth of the season, in the fourth inning. Bolden, who had missed the last five games, returned as the designated hitter. He and Tyler Wilson each had two hits.
Freshman right-hander Davey Hackett, 0-2, started for the Bisons. In the first inning Mark Hartsfield singled to left field to bring in Cody Terry for a 1-0 lead for the Skyhawks. Terry had reached base on a double to left center to lead off the game.
Hackett was able to pitch his way out of a potentially dangerous inning, allowing only one run even though he was faced with runners on second and third with one out.
The Bisons tied the game in the first when Bolden singled to right field, driving home M.L. Williams who led off the inning with a double to right field.
UT-Martin scored two runs in the second inning when Scott Gladstone’s drove a single through the left side, scoring Drew Mason and Kevin Holt. Mason had started the inning with a single up the middle. Holt was on base after a one-out double to left center.
In the third inning, Ty Nelson belted a two-run homer scoring Skyhawks pitcher Wes Patterson.
Patterson wouldn’t give up a run to the Bisons until the fourth inning when Bolden connected on a ball that was sent over the right field wall making the game 7-2. UT-Martin would respond with two runs of their own in the fifth.
The Bisons threatened in the sixth inning. Tyler Wilson singled and went to second on an error by Patterson. Bolden was hit by a pitch, putting runners on the corners for the Bisons, but Patterson got Branden Cadavid to ground out to first for the final out.
The Skyhawks used a big seventh inning to distance themselves from the Bisons, scoring three runs. Mason’s singled to left to score Nelson and Miles Hartsfield. Mason scored on a ground out to the second baseman by Terry.
The Bisons mounted another offensive threat in the eighth inning, but it was short-lived. M.L. Williams scored on a fielder’s choice to cut the lead to 10-3, but the Bisons would leave runners at second and third with Andrew Nickerson’s fly out to center field.
After holding the Skyhawks scoreless in the ninth inning, the Bisons offense finally heated up in their last at bat. Logan Hostettler started the inning by doubling to deep right field. He advanced to third on Antonio Butler’s slow rolling single through the left side. Wilson’s single through the right side sent Hostettler across the plate. Justin Sanders singled through the left side to drive in Butler. Bolden took a pitch off his right thigh to move down to first, pushing Sanders to second. Tyler Wilson would later score on a wild pitch from UT-Martin pitcher, Jordan Owen. Tanner Hensley came in from the Skyhawks’ bullpen to get Branden Cadavid to fly out to center ending the game.
The Bisons had eight hits and left eight runners on base. The Bisons also committed two errors.
The Skyhawks used 14 hits to produce 10 runs, and also left eight runners on base. The Skyhawks also had two errors.
The Bisons will travel to Florida Gulf Coast for a three-game A-Sun series this weekend.
This story was written by Tyler Craig, sports editor of the Babbler and a member of the baseball broadcasting team.