Baseball drops 8-3 decision at Lee

Baseball drops 8-3 decision at Lee

CLEVELAND, Tenn. --- The Lee University baseball team scored four times in the sixth inning and added two more in the eighth as the Flames defeated visiting Tusculum University 8-3 Tuesday night in a non-conference contest at Olympic Field.

Lee (16-15) records its fifth consecutive victory while the Pioneers fall to 21-12 on the season.

Miguel Pimentel led the Flames at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a RBI.  Alan Smith finished with a pair of hits including a double and three RBI while Cody Smith accounted for two singles and three RBI.

Tusculum finished the contest with eight hits, snapping the team's four-game streak of double-digit hits.  Daulton Martin tallied two hits including his NCAA Division II leading 19th double of the year, while Chase Wullenweber had pair of hits and two RBI.  TU's Nate Montgomery also posted a pair of hits to extend his team-leading 12-game hitting streak.

Lee used eight different pitchers that combined for 11 strikeouts including four by game-winner David Pattinson who tossed 1.1 hitless innings to improve to 3-0 this year.

The two teams used 16 pitchers in the three-hour and 20-minute mid-week encounter.  The Flames platooned its pitching staff in the first five innings using one pitcher in each frame and ended the night with nine LU hurlers seeing action.

After three scoreless innings, Tusculum dented the scoring column in the top of the fourth when Bryson Ford and Montgomery led off with back-to-back singles.  After a fly out, and a strikeout, Ford and Montgomery pulled a double steal.  With two Wullenweber lined a single off of relieve pitcher Andrew Franklin which drove in Ford from third base as TU led 1-0.

The Flames answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth as Tyler Payne drew a one-out walk and he moved to second on Pimentel infield hit.  After a balk moved the runners into scoring position, reliever got a strikeout for the second out of the inning.  But Alan Smith hit a two-run single up the middle to give Lee a 2-1 lead.

The Tusculum regained the lead with a run in the fifth inning and another in the sixth.  In the fifth, Jarel McDade led off with a double, stole third and scored on Martin's sacrifice fly.  In the sixth, the Pioneers got the first two runners on.  A failed bunt attempt forced out the lead runner at third base.  Wullenweber drove in his second RBI of the game as he lined a single to center, but was thrown out at second base when he tried to move into scoring position on the throw.  Pattinson took over and got a strikeout to end the inning as TU led 3-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Flames utilized two hits, three walks and two Tusculum errors to plate four runs, with Cody Smith's two-out, two-out single being the big blow as Lee led 6-3.

Pattinson recorded three strikeouts in the seventh, while TU reliever Kaleb Bell struck out the side in the bottom half of the frame.

In the top of the eighth, the Pioneers looked to have a rally in the works as Montgomery was hit by a pitch and Bradley Evans drew a walk to bring the tying run to the plate.  But relief pitcher Lance Hamilton ended the threat with a fly out and two strikeouts.

The Flames tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth including a RBI double from Alan Smith and a RBI single off the bat of Cody Smith to put the game out of reach.

The Pioneers return to South Atlantic Conference play on Friday night when they host Coker College for a 6 p.m. contest to being a three-game weekend series with the Cobras.