Pioneers record double-digit hits for fourth straight game in 12-10 loss at Lee

Pioneers record double-digit hits for fourth straight game in 12-10 loss at Lee

CLEVELAND, Tenn. --- Spencer Mossburg belted a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Lee University baseball team edged Tusculum 12-10 on a frigid Wednesday afternoon at Olympic Field.

The Flames (13-14) jumped out to a 5-0 lead but had to overcome a pair of deficits to pick up the non-conference victory over the Pioneers (12-14).

Lee finished the contest with a dozen hits and reliever Eric Freeman (3-3) pitched two perfect innings to pick up the victory.

The Flames erupted for five runs in the second inning utilizing five hits and two walks and RBI singles from Tyler Payne, Justen Freeman and Fernando Ortiz.

Tusculum answered with three runs in the third inning and five more in the fourth to take an 8-5 lead.  Daulton Martin led off the third inning with his team-leading fourth triple of the season. Jarel McDade was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners as Nate Montgomery laced a double down the left field line to trim the deficit to three.  Bradley Evans followed with his RBI double to make it a 5-3 contest.

In the fourth inning, the Pioneers used four hits and two Lee errors to take an 8-5 lead.  The Flames answered in the bottom of the frame scoring three runs to tie the contest at 8-8.  Lee retook the lead with a run in the fifth and it remain 9-8 until the top of the seventh inning.

Tusculum's Bryson Ford led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Martin followed with a walk and both moved up a base on a passed ball.  Jarel McDade brought home Ford with a sacrifice fly and Martin came into score with the go-ahead run on Montgomery's one-out single.

With Tusculum leading heading to the bottom of the eighth, TC reliever Mitch McCain got the first two outs of the inning with a pair of ground balls.  But the Flames mounted a two-out rally as Chase Gadau got aboard with a walk and moved to third on Peyton Meeker's single.  Mossburg stepped up and hit a three-run blast to right centerfield to give Lee a 12-10 lead.

In the top of the ninth, Eric Freeman faced the top of the TC order and got a strikeout, fly out and a ground out to end the game.

The Pioneers finished the contest with 14 hits for their fourth consecutive 10-hit outing and fifth in their last six games.  Montgomery went 3-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored while Martin posted a 3-for-5 effort with two runs, one RBI and a walk.  TC also got multi-hit performances from Edison Cabrera, Wapkinsky and Ford.

TC has also scored 10 or more runs in each of its last four games.

Tusculum returns home on Thursday to host 2017 NCAA Division II Tournament participant Winston-Salem State for a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Pioneer Park. TC will follow with a three-game South Atlantic Conference series this weekend when they host Anderson.