Three Pioneers earn preseason SAC baseball honors, TU picked seventh in coaches' poll

Three Pioneers earn preseason SAC baseball honors, TU picked seventh in coaches' poll

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The Tusculum University baseball team is picked to finish seventh in the South Atlantic Conference according to the 2019 Preseason SAC Coaches' Poll announced league officials Tuesday. 

The Pioneers also placed three student-athletes on the Preseason All-SAC Baseball team including first team selections Daulton Martin and Jarel McDade, along with second team pitcher Charles Hall.  The Preseason All-SAC team is selected by the league's media relations directors.

The Pioneers received 65 total points in a vote of the conference's 11 head baseball coaches.  Catawba is picked to repeat as SAC champions as the Catawba Indians received 108 points including eight first place votes.  Lincoln Memorial is second with 97 points and the three remaining first place nods.  Wingate placed second with 93 points, followed by Carson-Newman (78), Newberry (70), Lenoir-Rhyne (68), Tusculum (65), Anderson (47), Mars Hill (36), Coker (30) and baseball newcomer Queens (23).

Martin, a junior second baseman from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, earned All-America distinction from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (second team) and the American Baseball Coaches Association (third team) in 2018.  He led the SAC with his .413 batting average (18th in NCAA II) while his 86 total hits were 17th in the nation and the second most by a DII left-handed hitter.  The 2018 All-SAC first team choice finished 18th in the country in batting average and his seven triples were a league-best and 10th in the nation.  He finished 20th in the land in doubles (20) and 23rd in on-base percentage (.500).

Martin's 86 hits were the sixth-most in Tusculum history, while leading the team with 29 multiple-hit games including 10 with three or more hits.  He hit safely in his first 12 games of the season to post a 23-game hitting streak dating back to 2017.  The 23-game streak is the fourth-longest in program history and was five games away from the school record.

The 2018 consensus All-Region selection reached base safely in 51 of 52 games in 2018 including the first 44 in a row. Along with reaching base in his last 12 outings in 2017, he finished with a school-record streak of getting on-base in 56 consecutive contests.

After just two seasons, Martin has a .399 career batting average which is currently the sixth highest in Tusculum history.  His .489 career on-base percentage is third in the Tusculum record book and is tied for fifth with his 10 career triples.

McDade, a senior outfielder from Magnolia, Texas, earned All-SAC first honors last year and finished fourth on the team with his .326 batting average.  He led the Pioneers with 56 runs scored, which were fifth in the league and 23rd in NCAA Division II.  He also led TU with 10 home runs (11th in SAC), 32 walks and was hit by a pitch 15 times (3rd in SAC / 41st in NCAA II).  He finished with 58 hits including seven doubles and three triples, while leading the team with 45 RBI including nine multiple RBI games.  McDade was also tied for second on the squad with 19 multiple-hit contests.

Hall, a senior right-hander from Dumfries, Virginia, garnered All-SAC second honors last season as he led the Pioneers in innings pitched (73.1) and strikeouts (71 – 6th in SAC).  He posted a 4-3 record with a 4.42 earned run average.  He recorded wins in four consecutive starts (Mar. 16-30) with two of those against Catawba and Anderson where he did not allow a run.  In the Catawba game he tossed eight shutout innings, scattering three hits, four walks and posted a career-best 11 strikeouts and was named the SAC Pitcher of the Week.

Tusculum head coach Brandon Steele, who is entering his 16th season on the coaching staff in Greeneville, will be in his inaugural campaign at the helm of the Pioneer program, replacing long-time TU skipper Doug Jones.  Tusculum will have 27 returning lettermen including seven returning field position starters and 12 pitchers from last season's 25-27 squad that finished fifth in the league.

The Pioneers open its season next Friday (Feb. 1) with two games in Florida beginngin at 1 p.m. at Barry University followed by a 6 p.m. first pitch later that evening at Nova Southeastern.  TU will also play at Palm Beach Atlantic (Feb. 2) and Lynn (Feb. 3) next weekend.


2019 SAC Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll


School (1st Place Votes)



Catawba (8)



Lincoln Memorial (3)





















Mars Hill









2019 Preseason All-SAC Baseball Team
First Team
OF – Danton Hyman, Newberry
OF – Chandler Castleberry, Anderson
OF – Jarel McDade, Tusculum
1B – Dillon Carpenter, Anderson
2B – Daulton Martin, Tusculum
SS – Colin Allman, Newberry
3B – Jackson Raper, Catawba
C – Matt Honeycutt, Mars Hill
DH – Heath Mitchem, Catawba
SP – Ethan Elliott, Lincoln Memorial
SP – John Grigg, Lenoir-Rhyne
SP – Austin Turgeon, Wingate
RP – DJ Laxton, Catawba

Second Team
OF – Seth Hunt, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Will Reddick, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Tanner Lane, Newberry
1B – Alex Reynolds, Lenoir-Rhyne
2B – McCann Mellett, Wingate
SS – Tyler Adams, Lincoln Memorial
3B – Tyler Schneider, Wingate
C – Ethan Goforth, Carson-Newman
SP – Joe Bobiak, Lincoln Memorial
SP – Charles Hall, Tusculum
SP – Ryan Harbin, Newberry
RP – Charlie Fessler, Newberry