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Martin sets stolen bases record, Pioneers sweep pair from Gannon

Daulton Martin slides in with one of his seven stolen bases on the day in Tusculum's DH sweep over Gannon (photo by Chuck Williams)
Daulton Martin slides in with one of his seven stolen bases on the day in Tusculum's DH sweep over Gannon (photo by Chuck Williams)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Daulton Martin accounted for seven stolen bases on the day including a school-record five in the opener as the Tusculum Pioneers swept a baseball doubleheader over Gannon University Friday night at Pioneer Park. 

TU won the first game 11-2 and followed with an 11-3 victory in the night-cap to improve to 6-4 on the season. The Pioneers mustered 13 total hits in the twin-bill, but also drew 22 walks and finished the day with a dozen stolen bases.

Martin also went 2-for-2 on the day while drawing six walks and posted three RBI in the sweep.

Game 1: Tusculum 11, Gannon 2

Tusculum played five runs in the fifth inning and added three more in the sixth as the Pioneers prevailed 11-2 in the opener.

Martin went 1-for-1 with three walks and two RBI, while Luis Ezra and Trey Hinton also had two RBI apiece.

The Golden Knights, who were playing in their 2020 season opener, were held to three hits in the game as TU starting pitcher Gunner Becker (2-0) picked up his second win of the season.

Tusculum scored three times in the second inning utilizing two hits, three walks and two Gannon errors to take a 3-0 lead.  The Golden Knights answered with a pair of runs in the fourth inning thanks to a Brandon Wetherholt double and later scored on an Ian Hess RBI single. On the base hit, Elijah Quiceno scored on a TU fielding error to cut the deficit to 3-2.

The Pioneers sent nine batters to the plate in the fifth and scored five runs on three hits including a two-run single by Ezra, an RBI single from Bryson Ford and a RBI double off the bat of Alvardo Valdez as TU extended the lead to 8-2.  Tusculum tacked on two more runs in the sixth on Martin's two-run single.

Martin's five stolen bases breaks the previous school record shared by Ricky Feliz and Carlos Rivera who stole four bases each in 2007, both against Davis and Elkins College. TU's eight total stolen bases in the game are tied for the third-most in program history.

Becker went 4.2 innings, allowed two hits, two runs, one earned, three walks and three strikeouts for the victory. Mitch McCain pitched 1.1 innings of shutout relief as he walked one and fanned three. Veteran James Irwin blanked the Knights in the seventh while finishing with two strikeouts in his TU varsity debut.

Game 2: Tusculum 11, Gannon 3

Ezra went 2-for-3 with five RBI and his team-leading third homer of the season in Tusculum's 11-3 win over Gannon in the second game.  The Pioneers finished with six hits in the game but posted a dozen walks and were hit by a pitch twice and recorded four stolen bases.

Martin duplicated his offensive performance from the opener going 1-for-1 with three walks as he added two more stolen bases to his South Atlantic Conference-leading season total of 10.

In the first innings, the Pioneers scored twice without the use of a hit thanks to a couple of wild pitches and four walks including the fourth drawn by Trey Hinton with the bases loaded.

TU added three more runs in the second as Gannon starter Eric Sapp got the first two outs of the inning but walked the bases loaded.  Ezra lifted a fly ball to left center field that landed strategically to clear the bases to extend the Pioneer lead to 5-0.  TU added another run in the third frame on a walk, a hit batter and a throwing error for a 6-0 TU advantage.

The Knights cut the deficit in half with a three-run fifth inning.  Trey Zeroski drew a lead-off walk by TU starter Nick Flesher.  After a strikeout, Elijah Quiceno walked and the two runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Following another strikeout by Flesher, Ian Hess barreled a base hit to right field to drive in Gannon's first two runs of the game. Trevor Lloyd took over on the mound for Tusculum as he gave up back-to-back singles including a RBI hit by Ryan Kalbfus. But Lloyd ended the inning with a strikeout to preserve the 6-3 lead.

TU got the three runs back in the bottom of the inning, all with two outs. Jaden Steagall lined a two-run double to the wall in left field and Martin followed with a RBI hit to right field as the Pioneers led 9-3.  Tusculum added two more runs in the sixth on Ezra's two-run homer to right field to provide the final margin of victory.

Flesher improved to 2-0 on the year as he went 4.2 innings, scattered five hits, allowed three runs, four walks and six strikeouts. Lloyd pitched 2.1 shutout innings with a walk and seven strikeouts.

The two teams will wrap up the four-game weekend series with a 12 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.

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