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Pioneers complete weekend sweep over Gannon; Hinton ties stolen bases record

Pioneers complete weekend sweep over Gannon; Hinton ties stolen bases record

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Bryson Ford went 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles and a triple, while Trey Hinton tied the Tusculum University single-game record for stolen bases as the Pioneers swept a baseball doubleheader over Gannon University Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Park.

Tusculum (8-4) completes a perfect 5-0 week including a four-game sweep over the Golden Knights, who advanced to last year's NCAA Division II Tournament. TU swept Saturday's doubleheader by scores of 14-4 and 6-0 as the Pioneers out-scored Gannon by a 42-9 margin over the weekend.

Tusculum went a perfect 15-of-15 in stolen bases on Saturday including Hinton's five-stolen base performance in the series finale, matching teammate Daulton Martin's single-game mark he set on Friday.  In the four games, Tusculum went 27-of-27 on the base paths to move to 40-of-42 on the year.

Game 1: Tusculum 14, Gannon 4

Tusculum rallied from a 4-2 deficit thanks to a six-run fourth inning as the Pioneers scored 12 unanswered in a 14-4 win in the opener.  Ford went 2-for-4 including his three-run double in the fourth and also accounted for three stolen bases in the game.

TU finished the game with 11 hits including a two-run homer by Garrett Dupuis to give the Pioneers an early 2-0 lead.  The Knights (0-4) responded with four runs in the top of the third inning including a RBI double by Elijah Quiceno and a two-run homer off the bat of Ian Hess.

In the TU fourth inning, Chase Wullenweber blasted a solo homer down the left field line to trim the deficit to 4-3.  Back-to-back, two-out fielding errors by the Knights was followed by a double-steal from Jaden Steagall and Martin. Both moved up a base on a walk, including Steagall who touched home plate with the tying run.  A pair of walks loaded the bases for Ford, who came up short of a grand slam when his blast to left field hit the wall as he settled for a bases-clearing double.

The Golden Knights had several opportunities down the stretch to dent the scoreboard again, but the TU bullpen pitched 5.1 shutout innings by the quartet of Carter Linton, Kent Noe, Alec Lay and Jacob Willett.

Tusculum tacked on a run in the seventh and scored five times in the eighth including a two-run double by Hinton.

The Pioneers finished the game with 11 hits, including Dupuis' two-hit effort, while Wullenweber had a pair of hits.  Tusculum batters also drew 11 walks, including two each by Martin and Fuzzy Furr. The Pioneers went 8-of-8 in stolen bases as well.

Linton (1-1) picked up the victory for the Pioneers, while GU starter Benjamin Visnesky (0-1) suffered the loss.

Game 2: Tusculum 6, Gannon 0

The TU pitching duo of Keegan Ernest and Dawson Gause combined on a two-hit shutout in Tusculum's 6-0 victory over Gannon to complete the weekend sweep.

Ernest (2-0) went the first four innings where he posted nine strikeouts including six in a row to start the game.

Tusculum plated two runs in the second inning and added three more in the fourth frame on Wullenweber's two-out, three-run double. Ford added two more hits with a triple and a double to go along with a walk. Hinton got on base in all three of his plate appearances, resulting in five stolen bases and two runs scored with a RBI.

In the second inning, Ford tripled to right field and later scored on Jake Wapinsky's sacrifice squeeze bunt.  Jordan Beaver legged out an infield single to drive in Hinton with the game's second run.

Gause walked the first batter he would face, but bounced back by recording nine straight outs to post his first save of the year.

Tusculum continues its nine-game home-stand on Tuesday when they host Young Harris College for a 4 p.m. contest. Eight of TU's first nine games of the home-stand will be against teams who advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament including Gannon, Young Harris and Catawba College in next weekend's South Atlantic Conference opening series.

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