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Skeen slam sparks Pioneers to sweep over Anderson

Skeen slam sparks Pioneers to sweep over Anderson

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Colby Skeen went 4-for-7 on the day with seven RBI including a grand slam as Tusculum swept a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader over Anderson Sunday afternoon at Pioneer Park.

The Pioneers (15-15, 8-6 SAC) won by scores of 4-1 and 7-0 to complete the sweep and get their overall record back to .500 on the season.

Tusculum limited the Trojans (8-17, 5-8 SAC) to five total hits on the day as five TC pitchers allowed just one run in the twin-bill.

Game 1: Tusculum 4, Anderson 1

Daulton Martin went 3-for-4 with a RBI while the trio of Charles Hall, Colin Johnston and Mitch McCain combined on a two-hitter as Tusculum prevailed 4-1 in Sunday's first game.

Anderson did work Tusculum pitching for eight walks, but the Pioneers got some timely defense and turned three double plays in the win.

Tusculum's Charles Hall and Anderson starter Austin Todd were locked in a pitchers' duel throughout the first six innings.

Hall retired the first eight batters of the game and worked out of trouble in the fifth and sixth innings.  Meanwhile, Todd retired six of his first seven batters before surrendering a run each in the third and fourth frames.

In the bottom of the third, Tusculum's Jake Wapinksy led off with walk.  Bryson Ford bunted him over and Martin drove him in with a base hit down the first base line.  In the fourth, Skeen led off with a double and later scored himself on an Edison Cabrera double, his seventh of the year to give TC a 2-0 advantage.

In the top of the fifth, AU had two runners aboard but a double play ended the inning.  In the seventh after getting the first out, Hall walked three straight batters to load the bases.  Johnston came aboard and got an inning-ending double play to preserve the 2-0 Tusculum lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Tusculum added a pair of insurance runs, all with two outs.  Martin lined a triple to center field for his fifth of the year.  Jarel McDade and Nate Montgomery both walked to load the bases as Skeen stepped up to the plate.  He lined a single up the middle to drive in Martin and McDade for a 4-0 Tusculum lead.

In the top of the eighth, Anderson's Tyler Berry reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a Justin Helms walk.  William Thomas lined a single to deep left field which eluded a diving McDade.  Miller walked to load the bases with no outs and the heart of the Anderson order coming to the plate.  McCain took over and struck out the next three batters to end the inning and preserve the 4-1 lead. 

McCain pitched a perfect ninth inning to notch his first career save.  Hall picked up the victory going 6 1/3 innings, allowed one unearned run, one hit, six walks and one strikeout in his 105-pitch performance.

Todd (2-3) suffered the loss despite scattering seven hits, three runs, one walk and four strikeouts.

Skeen finished the game going 2-for-4, while Cabrera also had a 2-for-4 outing.

Game 2: Tusculum 7, Anderson 0

Skeen went 2-for-3 with five RBI while pitching duo of Sean McDaniel combined on a three-hit shutout as the Pioneers won the second game 7-0.

Tusculum got all the offense it needed in the opening frame as the first three batters got aboard to load the bases and Skeen belted the first pitch down the right field line for his first home run of the season and his first career grand slam as a Pioneer.

TC added two more runs in the second and one more in the third to extend the lead to 7-0.  In the second inning, Seth DeHaven legged out a one-out double and Martin followed with a walk.  After a foul out, Montgomery and Skeen followed with back-to-back RBI singles.  In the third inning, Cabrera led off with a single and came into score on DeHaven's two-out double for his second two-bagger of the game.

McDaniel (1-0) pitched the first four innings before leaving with an injury prior to the start of the fifth frame.  He allowed two hits, two walks and recorded strikeouts for his first win of the season.  Lloyd pitched the final three innings for his first save of the year as he scattered one hit, one walk and struck out four.

The Pioneers finished the game with nine hits, including two hits each from Skeen, Cabrera and DeHaven.

Martin drew a pair of walks to extend his remarkable streak to 42 consecutive games by reaching base safely.

Tusculum and Anderson will wrap up the three-game series on Monday with a 2 p.m. contest at Pioneer Park.

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