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Pioneers rally twice to complete weekend sweep at Anderson

Pioneers rally twice to complete weekend sweep at Anderson

ANDERSON, S.C. --- Jeremy Glore went 5-for-7 and scored six times, while Colby Skeen drove in seven RBI on the day as the Tusculum baseball team swept a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader at Anderson Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.  With the sweep, coupled with Catawba's split at Lincoln Memorial, the Pioneers (19-8, 12-3 SAC) take sole possession of first place in the league.

Tusculum had to rally from behind in both games winning by scores of 14-6 and 12-5 to extend TC's winning streak to a season-high 10 in a row.  Besides combining for 26 runs on Saturday, the Pioneers also totaled 33 hits, including seven doubles, two triples and two home runs as TC has won 13 of its last 14 games and has swept its last three SAC weekend series.

Nick Lacina tallied two hits in the first game and a double in his final at-bat in the second contest to extend his personal-best hitting streak to 14 in a row.

The Pioneers will be at Lee University this Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the first of two meetings this season against the Flames.

Game 1: Tusculum 14, Anderson 6

Zach Lippincott went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and four RBI as the Pioneers won the first game, 14-6.  Tusculum finished the game with 18 hits, including three-hit performances from Glore and Zack Finchum as well as two hits each from Colby Skeen, Daulton Martin and Lacina. 

Zach Slagle pitched the first five innings to improve his record to 4-1 as he scattered six hits, four runs (one earned), one walk and three strikeouts. Christian Raasch recorded six strikeouts as he pitched the final four frames to secure his first save of the year.  Raasch allowed two hits, two runs, one earned and did not walk a batter as he held the Trojans at bay.

Tusculum scored the first run of the game in the third inning when Glore hit a two-out triple and later scored on a Nick Lacina double for a 1-0 TC lead.

The Trojans answered with three unearned runs in the bottom of the frame thanks to three hits and two Tusculum errors.  TC evened the score at 3-3 with two runs in the top of the fourth as the Pioneers posted two hits and took advantage of two Anderson miscues in the field.

Anderson regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth, before the Pioneers scored five runs in the sixth as Tusculum started the inning with six consecutive hits, including RBI singles Finchum, Edison Cabrera, Skeen and a RBI double from Lippincott as TC led 8-4.  TC added three runs in the seventh, two more in the eighth and another in the ninth as the Pioneers were victorious.

John Topoleski hit his second home run of the season and tied a Tusculum record with his 34th career sacrifice bunt, matching the mark established by Tripper Crisson (2012-2013).

The Trojans went through seven pitchers in the contest, including starter John McMicking (1-5) who suffered the loss.

Anderson tallied eight hits, including two apiece from Tyler Miller and William Thomas.

Game 2: Tusculum 12, Anderson 6

Topoleski went 3-for-4 with three singles, while Skeen belted his team-leading fifth home run of the season, a three-run blast to tie the game at 4-4 in the third inning.

Tusculum got on the board first thanks to Skeen's RBI single in the opening inning.  Anderson answered with four runs in the second, highlighted by a two-run single from Joseph Strange.

Cabrera led off the third with his eighth double of the 2017, while Glore moved him to third with his base hit.  Skeen tied the game at 4-4 with his third 3-run homer of the season.

The Pioneers regained the lead with a run in the top of the fifth following a two-out RBI single.  Anderson responded with a run in the AU half following an Avery Sneed single to center.

Tusculum went ahead for good in the sixth as Martin was hit by a pitch to get things started and he scored the eventual tying run on Finchum's one-out single.

The Pioneers blew the game open in the seventh as 10 went to the plate as TC added seven more hits including Glore's two-run double.

TC starter Tim Hardy worked around a one-out walk in the seventh and reliever McKenly Berry pitched a perfect seventh to complete the SAC sweep.

Hardy improved to 7-0 as he allowed eight hits, five runs, one walk and seven strikeouts as he remained undefeated on the season.

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