Dupuis has five-hit game, Pioneers rout Bluefield State 15-4

Dupuis has five-hit game, Pioneers rout Bluefield State 15-4

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Garrett Dupuis went 5-for-6 with three RBI to lead the Tusculum University baseball team to a 15-4 win over Bluefield State College Wednesday afternoon at Pioneer Park.

The Pioneers (19-10) record their fourth straight win as TU finished the game with 16 hits, including six of the extra-base variety.  Tusculum added to its NCAA Division II leading tally in walks as the Pioneers drew 10 bases on balls, giving TU 165 on the year.

The Pioneers used a pair of 5-run innings in the fourth and eighth frames as Tusculum records its 11th consecutive victory over the Big Blues (7-8).

Nine different Pioneers finished with at least a single, including Dupuis' five-hit performance which is tied for third-most hits in school history and the first 5-hit outing since teammate Daulton Martin achieved the feat at Lenoir-Rhyne last season.

TU freshman shortstop Jaden Steagall went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, two RBI and a season-high three stolen bases which are tied for third-most in program history.  Bryson Ford went 2-for-4 with two runs scored including his seventh double of the year.

The Pioneers utilized nine pitchers who went an inning each with Alec Lay getting the win to improve to 2-1 on the season.  Tusculum pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts including three by Mitch McCain and two each from Andrew Willis, Sean McDaniel, Austin Collins, Pedro Rodriguez and Kaleb Bell, who made his TU pitching debut on Wednesday.

It was a close game early as Bluefield State had the lead on two occasions.  The Big Blues scored an unearned run in the first inning, before Tusculum tied it in the bottom of the frame Steagall singled, stole second base and later stole third. On the steal to third, an errant throw allowed him to cross the plate.

Tusculum took its first lead of the day in the second when Zack Finchum doubled and later scored on a Steagall single to go ahead 2-1.  The Big Blues tied the game in the third on a Peyton Durham RBI double and retook the lead in the fourth thanks to Logan Wriston's RBI single for his third straight hit as BSC led 3-2.

But in the bottom of the fourth, 11 Pioneers went to the plate as TU took advantage of three hits and four walks.  Dupuis drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with his two-run single.  Jarel McDade followed with a two-run double to make it a 6-3 TU lead.  Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Steagall as he was hit by a pitch for a team-leading 12th time this year, driving in a run as the Pioneers led 7-3.

Tusculum added three runs in the fifth inning as Dupuis and Finchum each had RBI singles while Chase Wullenweber tripled off the wall in left field for a 10-3 Tusculum lead.

In the eighth, 10 batters went to the plate for Tusculum with Bradley Evans belting a two-run, pinch hit homer to left field.

The Pioneers will travel to Carson-Newman on Friday to begin a three-game South Atlantic Conference weekend series with the Eagles at the Silver Diamond Complex.