Sanders shines in Tusculum's 6-1 win over Bellarmine

Zach Sanders pitched 6.2 shutout innings in Tusculum's 6-1 win over Bellarmine (photo by Chris Lenker)
Zach Sanders pitched 6.2 shutout innings in Tusculum's 6-1 win over Bellarmine (photo by Chris Lenker)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Zach Sanders pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts in leading Tusculum to a 6-1 baseball win over Bellarmine Tuesday afternoon at Pioneer Park.

Tusculum (17-16) earns a split in the two-game midweek series while the Knights slip to 16-8 on the year.

Sanders scattered three hits, retired 10 in a row and didn't walk a batter to even his season record at 3-3.

Colby Skeen, the reigning South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week, went 2-for-5 and drove in the first two runs of the game to extend his hitting streak to seven consecutive games.  Daulton Martin also had a two-hit performance while scoring a pair of runs as he has successfully reached base in 45 consecutive games.

Tusculum plated a run in the first and an unearned run in the third to take a 2-0 lead.  In the first, Jarel McDade drew a one-out walk and later scored on Skeen's fifth double of the season.  Skeen came through again with a two-single in the third to drive in Martin for a 2-0 TC lead.

Martin led off the seventh inning with his league-leading seventh triple of the year and he would score on McDade's sacrifice fly.  Later in the frame Nate Montgomery singled and scored on an infield single by Edison Gabrera. In the bottom of the eighth, TC added a pair of insurance runs.  Trey Hinton led off with a walk and Seth DeHaven reached on a bunt single.  A fly ball moved pinch-runner Bryson Ford to third base.  Pinch-hitter Jake Wapinsky drove in Ford with a single and Montgomery put down a squeeze bunt to score DeHaven to increase the lead to 6-0.

TC reliever Pedro Rodriguez pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, allowed one run on three hits, with one walk and one strikeout for his third save of the year.

Bellarmine starter Nolan May suffered the loss to go to 0-1 on the season.

The Pioneers return to conference play this weekend as they host Newberry for a three-game series, beginning with Friday's 6 p.m. opener.