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Tusculum sweeps Bluefield State in series finale

2017 Baseball Seniors: Front Row: Tyler Hall, John Topoleski, Dalton Boslooper, Cole Baxley, McKenly Berry. Back Row: Zach Slagle, Zach Lippincott, Christian Raasch, Ethan Carpenter, Dante Key, Griffen Ebel, Nick Lacina, Jeremy Glore (photo by Chris Lenker)
2017 Baseball Seniors: Front Row: Tyler Hall, John Topoleski, Dalton Boslooper, Cole Baxley, McKenly Berry. Back Row: Zach Slagle, Zach Lippincott, Christian Raasch, Ethan Carpenter, Dante Key, Griffen Ebel, Nick Lacina, Jeremy Glore (photo by Chris Lenker)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Senior Zach Lippincott drove in the game-winning run in the opener with his two-out single in the sixth inning as Tusculum swept a baseball doubleheader over Bluefield State Wednesday afternoon at Pioneer Park in the season finale for both teams.

Tusculum (30-20) won by scores of 3-2 and 9-0 to clinch the program's 15th consecutive 30-win season.  Bluefield State ends the year with a 12-32 record.

Senior John Topoleski recorded at least a single in both games, including a base hit in his final at-bat in to wrap up his career with a 15-game hitting streak.  He also ends his collegiate career with 209 hits, the fifth-most in school history and the most ever by a Pioneer third baseman.

Game 1: Tusculum 3, Bluefield State 2

Lippincott broke a 2-2 tie when he looped a single to left field and pinch-runner Zach Finchum scored from second base with the go-ahead run.

Meanwhile closer McKenly Berry worked around a two-out single and ended the game with strikeout to secure his sixth save of the year and ninth of his career (8th in Tusculum history).

Christian Raasch (3-6) pitched four solid innings in relief to earn the victory, allowing two hits, one unearned run, one walk and three strikeouts.

Bluefield State got on the board first when Drew D'Angelo led off the game with a single and later scored on a one-out single from Logan Wriston for a 1-0 lead for the Big Blues.

Tusculum tied the game in the bottom of the first as Jeremy Glore led off with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Topoleski's RBI ground out.

The Pioneers took its first lead of the day in the second inning as Seth DeHaven drew a two-out walk and motored his way around to third base on Glore's single.  DeHaven scored on a balk by starting pitcher Tanner Muovich for a 2-1 TC lead.  Topoleski singled, but Glore was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

Bluefield State tied the game in the top of the third when D'Angelo reached on an error to start the frame and later scored on a Sam Harris RBI single.  The Big Blues loaded the bases, but Raasch got out of the jam with an inning-ending double play.

In the bottom of the sixth, Bradley Evans led off the inning with his ninth double of the season.  Finchum came aboard to pinch run, but Muovich got a strikeout and a fly out with Finchum still at second with Lippincott ready for the late-game heroics.

Glore and Evans finished with two hits apiece, while Bluefield State's Harris went 3-for-3 at the play, while D'Angelo also had a pair of hits in the loss.

Muovich (3-9) went the distance, throwing six innings, allowed three runs on eight hits, three walks and three strikeouts in his 88-pitch performance.

Game 2: Tusculum 9, Bluefield State 0

The Pioneers amassed 16 hits, while five Tusculum pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 win by the home team.

Tim Hardy (9-3) recorded eight strikeouts, including seven in a row as he recorded the victory in a planned start.  Hardy allowed a two-out hit single in the first inning and followed by fanning the last seven batters he would face. 

Tusculum scored two runs each in the first and third inning and erupted for five runs in the fourth as the Pioneers never looked back.

Evans posted his second two-hit game of the afternoon which included his third home run of the season, a two-run shot in the third.

Freshman Daulton Martin went 2-for-4 in game two, including his 12th double of the season as he extends his hitting streak to 11 straight games.

Edison Cabrera added two hits, while Seth DeHaven reached on a pair of bunt singles to go along with a stolen base.

Joining Hardy on the combined shutout were senior pitchers Tyler Hall, Zach Slagle, Dalton Boslooper and Griffen Ebel.

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