GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Several Tusculum University baseball alums continue their professional careers this summer both in the U.S. and internationally. Currently playing professionally are former Pioneers Tim Hardy, Charles Hall, Jarel McDade, Brandon Dickson and Maikol Gonzalez.
Hardy, who is in his third year of pro ball, is making positive strides in the New York Yankees organization as a relief pitcher. Hardy started the 2019 season with the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League (Short Season A) where he made seven relief appearances and didn't allow a run in his 12 innings on the mound. He went 1-0 with one save while allowing just two hits and posted 20 strikeouts while not walking a single batter. He limited the opposition to a meager .054 batting average and notched an impressive 0.17 WHIP.
He was reassigned earlier this week to the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League (Full Season A).
Hardy, who played for the Pioneers from 2016-2017, was originally drafted by the Houston Astros, was traded to the Yankees organization during the off-season this winter. He pitched for the Greeneville Astros in 2017 and split time between the Tri-City ValleyCats and the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2018. In his minor league career, Hardy has pitched in 32 games with three starts while posting a 3-5 record with a 3.15 earned run average with six saves and 83 strikeouts in 65.2 innings.
During his two seasons at Tusculum, Hardy finished with a 10-4 record with a 3.82 ERA. In his 32 mound appearances, he made 13 starts, including three complete games, one shutout and two combined shutouts. He pitched in 96.2 innings where he recorded 111 strikeouts against just 27 walks and limited the opposition to a .265 batting average. He went 9-3 with a 3.91 ERA in his final season with TU in 2017 where he earned All-South Atlantic Conference second team honors.
Hall, who was Tusculum's ace this past season, is currently playing for the Oakland Athletics' Gold Team in the Arizona League. He has made six appearances with one start where he has a 6.57 earned run average while posting 19 strikeouts and six walks in his 12.1 innings. He has a 1-1 record and owns a WHIP of 1.46. Earlier this month, Hall was called up to Double-A Midland for a spot assignment with the Rockhounds where he made one relief appearance before returning to Arizona. Hall was drafted in the 33rd round by Oakland in last month's first-year player draft.
Hall was two-time All-Southeast Region selection in his two campaigns (2018-2019) with the Pioneers and was a consensus All-Region pick this past season. He posted a 6-3 record and led the nation in strikeouts with 148. The 2019 South Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Year finished the season with a 2.31 earned run average which was the third lowest in the league and 30th in NCAA Division II.
Hall tossed 89.2 innings with two complete games and notched a 14.86 strikeouts per nine innings pitched which is the fourth-best average in the country. He established a new NCAA II national record with his 22 strikeouts against Queens University of Charlotte on Mar, 15, 2019. For his efforts, he was named the NCBWA Division II National Pitcher of the Week. In his 13 starts, he posted 10 or more strikeouts on 10 occasions and was tabbed SAC and Region Pitcher of the Week, twice each.
In his two years at Tusculum, Hall posted a 10-6 record with two saves and a 3.26 ERA which is ninth in the TU record book. His 219 career strikeouts are fourth in school history while pitching in 163 career innings.
McDade is playing for the Bakersfield (Calif.) Train Robbers where he is batting .375 for the Pecos League team.
The Magnolia, Texas native played the last two seasons as Tusculum's starting outfielder where he garnered All-SAC honors twice. In his 103-game career at TU, he batted .301 totaling 113 hits, 17 doubles, five triples and 14 home runs. He finished with 92 RBI with 47 walks and 30 stolen bases.
Dickson is playing in his seventh season with the Orix Buffaloes in the Nippon Professional League in Japan. This year, he has pitched in 16 outings where he has a 2-0 record with eight saves and a 3.18 ERA. In his 17 innings of relief, he has a posted 18 strikeouts. The Montgomery, Alabama native has 14 professional seasons under his belt, including the first seven within the St. Louis Cardinals organization, which signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Tusculum in 2006.
Dickson played two separate stints with St. Louis in 2011 and again in 2012. He appeared in eight games for St. Louis, posting a 4.91 ERA in his 14.2 innings of work with no decisions. He posted 13 strikeouts and made his lone major league start on Sept. 1, 2011, against the Milwaukee Brewers.
In his only season at Tusculum (2006), Dickson went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA. His 24 mound appearances are tied for the second most in a season at Tusculum and earned South Atlantic Conference All-Tournament honors.
Gonzalez is in his 12th season of professional baseball and is currently playing for the Ottawa Champions of the Canadian-American Association. In 2019, he has played in 56 games where he has a .268 batting average with eight doubles, one home run and 18 RBI.
Gonzalez' previous stops in the American Association also include Winnipeg, Cleburne (Texas), Lincoln (Neb.) and three seasons in El Paso (Texas).
Gonzalez, a native of Maraca Ibo, Venezuela, played two seasons at Tusculum from 2007-2008 where he hit for a school record .457 in his 113 career games and was a two-time consensus All-American. He still holds the school record for career triples and career on-base percentage (.522). His 49 career stolen bases are second in Pioneer history, while his 13 career sacrifice flies are fourth-most. In 2008, Gonzalez posted a school-record 28-game hitting streak and reached base safely in his final 46 contests.
He was selected in the 35th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies and was later traded to the Los Angeles Angels organization.