GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University baseball returns to action this week with five game on tap including a four-game home series against 2019 NCAA Tournament participant Gannon University at Pioneer Park. TU will also face arch-rival Carson-Newman University for a mid-week, non-conference match-up in Jefferson City.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK
Tusculum (3-4) is coming off a weekend series win against Southeast Region foe Belmont Abbey. The Pioneers won two of the three games, both by shutout, before being edged 3-2 in the series finale.
The TU pitching staff was outstanding in the Belmont Abbey series allowing just one earned run and a .140 batting average in the three games against the Crusaders. Five pitchers combined on the two shutouts, while relievers Sam Loew and Mitch McCain accounted for their first saves of the year.
Offensively, the Pioneers could only muster 13 hits, but were able to draw 17 walks, were hit by a pitch seven times and tallied four sacrifice flies and four sacrifice bunts on the week.
PREVIEWING THIS WEEK
Wednesday's non-South Atlantic Conference match-up at Carson-Newman will be the only time the Pioneers and Eagles will meet this season.
C-N is off to one of its best starts to a season in program history at 7-1 overall. The Eagles won its first seven games before dropping a 12-6 decision at home to King on Tuesday for its first loss of 2020.
Tusculum won last year's SAC series 2-1 in Jefferson City and have been victorious in three of its last four games played at the Silver Diamond Complex.
During its 7-0 start, the Eagles swept a three-game series at future SAC member Limestone and won 5-4 at Belmont Abbey. C-N also swept a three-game weekend series against visiting West Liberty as the Eagles out-scored the Hilltoppers by a 16-4 margin.
The Eagles are batting .282 as a team led by Mark Treadway's .391 average which includes a team-best nine hits including two doubles and seven RBI.
Gannon will be opening its 2020 campaign this weekend at Pioneer Park. The Golden Knights is coming off a historic season where Gannon went 33-17 and won the West Division title of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and earned a berth to the NCAA II Tournament. This weekend's series will begin on Friday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader (9 inn./7 inn.) followed by Saturday's noon twinbill (9 inn./7 inn.).
Gannon returns 15 position players and 11 pitchers from last year's club. Elijah Quiceno, who was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA) Preseason All-Region First Team, led the Knights last season with .359 batting average and a team-high 56 hits and 11 doubles. He also added in 10 home runs with 41 RBI for the Knights.
Preseason All-American pitcher Deven Judy went 8-0 on the mound last year as he struck out a school record 96 batters.
Sophomore infielder Jaden Steagall leads the Pioneers with his .458 batting average (7th in SAC) including a team-best 11 hits (T3rd in SAC), eight runs and eight RBI. He also has a double and a home run to his credit and is tops for the Pioneers in on-base percentage (.581 – 5th in SAC).
TU newcomer Daalen Adderley is second on the team with his .375 batting average including his three-run homer he belted in Sunday's 9-0 win over Belmont Abbey.
Two-time All-America second baseman Daulton Martin is third on the roster hitting .333 with eight hits, eight runs score, four walks and three times hit by pitch. He is also a perfect 3-of-3 in stolen bases. Last week, Martin established two Tusculum records with his 55th double and 109 career walks. He has been hit by a pitch 29 times during his career, just one shy of the school record shared by TU greats Trevor Adams (1999-2002) and John Topoleski (2014-2017).
FOLLOW THE GAMES
Links to live stats and video for all Tusculum University athletic events can be found through www.TusculumPioneers.com.