‘Breds split series, ready to take on UT Martin

Junior Brandon Eggenschwiler looks toward the pitcher to see if it is safe to steal a base in Wednesday’s game against Northern Illinois. The ‘Breds return to conference play on Friday at home against the UT Martin Skyhawks. || Taylor McStoots/The News
Junior Brandon Eggenschwiler looks toward the pitcher to see if it is safe to steal a base in Wednesday’s game against Northern Illinois. The ‘Breds return to conference play on Friday at home against the UT Martin Skyhawks. || Taylor McStoots/The News

Junior Brandon Eggenschwiler looks toward the pitcher to see if it is safe to steal a base in Wednesday’s game against Northern Illinois. The ‘Breds return to conference play on Friday at home against the UT Martin Skyhawks. || Taylor McStoots/The News

The ‘Breds are looking for a win Friday as they continue conference play. The team will play game one of a three-game series against UT Martin at 3 p.m. at home.

The team is coming off a split two-game series to Northern Illinois, who they played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Murray State handed the Huskies a 7-1 defeat Tuesday, as freshman Cody Maerz threw a five-inning no-hitter. This was only Maerz second-career start and he struck out a career high seven hitters.

Senior Mike Kozlowski also had a big game for the ‘Breds. He went 4-5, with three doubles and four RBIs. The ‘Breds had one of their highest hitting games of the season, connecting on 14 balls.

The ‘Breds had hoped to continue the momentum Wednesday in the second game but that was not the case. They fell 8-4. Northern Illinois had a huge second inning, scoring seven runs off of seven hits, early on in the game.

Head Coach Rob McDonald said if his team had to give up seven runs, he would have rather them give them up in the second inning, like they did, than in the seventh. The team has to be able to overcome adversity he said.

Murray State held the Huskies at seven hits until the ninth inning when the team scored another costly run.

After the second inning the ‘Breds tried to rally. They scored a run

in the next three innings and recorded eight hits as well, however it was not enough to overcome a four-run deficit.

“We would have loved to have those (one hits) be two’s and three’s but just those ones in consecutive innings got us back in the game and that’s what you have to do, ” McDonald said.

Starting pitcher senior Alex Gordon struggled through one inning before he was taken out. He allowed three hits and five runs in that inning. Junior Tyler Saltsman pitched one inning after Gordon, he allowed one hit and two runs.

Bullpen pitcher, sophomore Cameron Wallace had one of his best appearances at the mound. He did not give up any runs or hits in four innings of play.

“I was really happy for Cameron,” McDonald said. “He hasn’t been pitching a lot but we know he is very capable. He is a good pitcher. He got the opportunity today and made the most of it.”

The ‘Breds now head into conference play against UT Martin, coming off of a loss.

The ‘Breds have had success against the UT Martin Skyhawks in previous years. Last season the team went 2-1 after dropping the middle game 4-3. In the last game of the series the ‘Breds held the Skyhawks to zero runs, while the team scored a high seven.

This season the Skyhawks are 7-9 overall. They just played their first conference series against Jacksonville State, winning the last game 4-3, and dropping the previous two 10-5 and 20-2.

Murray State is in a similar position to UT Martin. Currently they have a record of 7-10 and a conference record of 1-2, after facing Morehead State on Saturday and Sunday.

Though they defeated the Eagles 7-3 in the first game, they could not overcome Morehead State in the latter two games. Each game they only lost by one point 2-1 and 10-9.

“Every team in our league is good and every weekend is really competitive and a dog fight,” said McDonald. “We have to be prepared to play our best.”

The first pitch against UT Martin is set at 3 p.m. on Friday at home at Johnny Reagan Field.

Story by Jaci Kohn, Sports Editor.