Hinton shines in Tusculum's 5-3 SAC win at LMU

Trey Hinton went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI in Tusculum's 5-3 win over Lincoln Memorial (photo by Chris Lenker)

HARROGATE, Tenn. --- Trey Hinton went 2-for-3 with three RBI and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with his seventh inning single as Tusculum knocked off in-state-foe Lincoln Memorial 5-3 Friday afternoon at Hennon Field.

Pedro Rodriguez pitched three shutout innings of relief to pick up the victory, while Chase McAllister got out of jam in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his first save of 2018.

The Pioneers (11-8, 5-2 SAC) and Railsplitters (14-7, 2-5 SAC) will wrap up their three-game South Atlantic Conference series on Saturday with a noon doubleheader.

TC's Jarel McDade led all players as he went 3-for-4 with a pair of singles and a triple and two runs scored.

Tusculum jumped out to an early lead plating a pair of runs in the top of the second inning as McDade drove in the first run with his one-out triple.  Seth DeHaven later followed with a two-out double as TC led 2-0.

TC starter Charles Hall pitched well through the first five innings, limiting LMU to a pair of hits during that span.  But he ran into trouble in the sixth as Joe Stuckey led off with a home run to put the home team on the scoreboard.  Logan Augustine singled and Tyler Adams and Timmy Wages followed with back-to-back doubles as LMU led 3-2.  Rodriguez relieved Hall to face Nate Stinson who reached on a TC infield error as the Railsplitters had two on with no outs.  But Rodriguez got out of the jam with a strikeout and a double play to keep it a one-run contest.

Tusculum answered in the top of the seventh as McDade led off with a single and Garrett Dupuis drew a walk against LMU starter Ethan Elliott.  A DeHaven bunt moved the runners into scoring position to set the table for Hinton who singled to left field to bring home McDade and Dupuis to make it a 4-3 TC lead.

TC tacked on an insurance run in the eighth as Hinton answered again with a bases-loaded walk and a two-run lead (5-3).

In the bottom of the ninth, Rodriguez ran into trouble as TC committed its fourth error of the game as Will Reddick reached on the Tusculum miscue and Dalton Dedes drew a walk to put the tying runs on base with no outs.  McAllister took over and Marco Rios bunted the runners into scoring position with one out.  But a pair of fly outs to the No. 1 and No. 2 batters in the order ended the contest and saved the Pioneers.

Rodriguez (2-1) allowed just one hit in his three innings of work with two walks and two strikeouts.

LMU edged the Pioneers in hitting 8-6 with Seth Hunt and Adams finishing with two hits each.

Tusculum's Daulton Martin drew an intentional walk to in the seventh inning to extend his streak to 31 consecutive games reaching base safely.