McDade has career day, Pioneers win 16-8 at Mars Hill

McDade has career day, Pioneers win 16-8 at Mars Hill

MARS HILL, N.C. --- Jarel McDade went 3-for-5 with a career-best six RBI to lead the Tusculum University baseball team to a 16-8 win at Mars Hill University Monday afternoon at Henderson Field.

The Pioneers (15-9, 4-2 SAC) capture its second straight South Atlantic Conference series win while the Lions fall to 8-12 overall and 2-6 in the league.

Tusculum accounted for 14 hits and 14 walks on the day as the Pioneers tallied six extra base hits including three home runs in the victory.

Daulton Martin also tied a TU single-game record as he drew four walks to go along with his team-leading sixth home run of the season and second of the series.

McDade's six RBI are tied for the sixth-most in program history as they game on a two-run single, a two-run double and a two-run homer.

TU's Nate Montgomery also had a 5-RBI performance as he went 2-for-5 including his three-run homer in the fourth inning.

Brett Brubaker led Mars Hill with his 4-for-5 performance as the Lions finished the game with a dozen hits and 10 walks as both teams left 14 runners on base apiece.

Tusculum reliever Kent Noe picked up his first collegiate victory on the mound as he allowed four hits, two unearned runs, four walks and three strikeouts in his 4.2 innings of work.

The Pioneers led wire-to-wire as Martin put the visitors on the board with his two-run blast to right center.  Mars Hill answered with a single-run in the bottom of the first thanks to Gray McCurry's sacrifice fly to make it a 2-1 game. 

But then the skies opened up forcing a rain delay that lasted one hour and 13 minutes.  When play resumed, the Pioneers scored three runs in the third inning and five more in the fourth frame to take a 10-1 lead.  In the third, McDade came up with a two-out, two-run single to highlight the inning.  In the fourth, 10 Pioneers went to the plate as Trey Hinton belted a two-run double and Montgomery followed with his three-run blast to center field.

Mars Hill put up four runs in their half of the fourth including Daniel Vitello's three-run homer to center field as the Lions trimmed the deficit to 10-5.

The Pioneers got the four runs back in the next inning as TU got back-to-back doubles from Zack Finchum and McDade as Tusculum led 14-5.  The Pioneers tacked on two runs in the seventh while the Lions scored twice in the eighth and once in the ninth to provide the final margin.

Both teams committed four errors each while the Pioneers turned three double plays defensively.

Beside McDade and Montgomery, TU also got multi-hit performances from Jaden Steagall, Chase Wullenweber and Finchum.  Hinton also accounted for three RBI while Bryson Ford walked three times and was hit by a pitch.

Tusculum returns home on Wednesday as they host Alabama Huntsville for a 2 p.m. single-game at Pioneer Park.