Baseball drops series-opener to Tusuclum 2-1

SALISBURY, NC -- The Tusculum College Pioneers earned a key win in the opener of a three-game South Atlantic Conference baseball series on Friday night at Newman Park, defeating host Catawba 2-1. Tusculum ranked fifth in the South Region, improves to 28-18 overall and 13-3 in the SAC, while Catawba, ranked third in the region, falls to 31-14 and 12-4. The teams will complete the series on Saturday with a noon doubleheader. Tusculum would open the scoring in the second inning on a leadoff home run Skip Talarek (Great Falls, VA). Catawba would get on the board in the third on a two-out, RBI single by Spence Southard (Greensboro, NC). The Pioneers would retake the lead in the fifth as Josh Wolff (Louisville, KY) tripled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Robbie Bouman (Sterling, VA). Catawba failed to take advantage of its opportunities, stranding a dozen runners, including eight in scoring position. Eric Butler (Morristown, TN) tossed six strong inning for Tusculum to earn the win, allowing just the single run on six hits with four strikeouts. He got three innings of relief from Wes Hill (Stuarts Draft, VA). Hill allowed just one hit and struck out four, including the side in the ninth. Bouman was the only Pioneer to collected two hits, while Southard and Mark Smith (Browns Summitt, NC) had a pair of hits for Catawba. Thomas Wilson (Smithfield, VA) took the loss, tossing eight and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts. ######

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