Tusculum Squeaks by Baseball with Big Fourth Inning


GREENEVILLE, TN -- Tusculum’s Craig Goodman allowed just seven singles to Catawba and went the distance on the mound in a South Atlantic Conference showdown that ended in a 4-3 win for the Pioneers Friday night at Pioneer Park. The 16th-ranked Indians fall to 30-9 overall and 19-3 in the SAC while the eighth-ranked Pioneers go to 33-5 and 20-2.

Catawba hit Goodman (8-0) up for three runs on seven hits through four innings, but then the senior right-hander found his groove holding the Indians hitless the rest of the way.

On the other side of the pitcher’s duel JJ Jankowski (McMurray, PA/Peters Township HS/Miami, OH) performed well striking out nine while giving up three earned runs on five hits and walking three in seven-and-a-third innings. Despite the solid numbers, the senior suffered his first loss of the season after nine straight wins.

The night started out promising for the Indians getting an early walk and two singles off the Tusculum ace which produced a run in the top of the first frame. Julio Zubillaga (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) was gifted a walk while Garrett Furr (Gold Hill, NC/Mt. Pleasant HS) and Chris Dula (Troutman, NC/S. Iredell HS) each had a single to left. Dula’s hit plated Zubillaga for the early 1-0 lead.

After the Pioneers failed to answer in their half of the first inning, Catawba tacked on two more runs in the second for a 3-0 advantage.

Keaton Hawks (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) and Greg Lawson (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) both hit singles to get on base as Brett Underwood (Greensboro, NC/SW Guilford HS) sacrifice bunted to advance each runner. A Ryan Bostian (Kannapolis, NC/S. Rowan HS/Montreat) single scored Hawks and a Zubillaga sacrifice fly brought Lawson home.

 Tusculum was held scoreless for two more innings, but the home-standing Pioneers found their bats in the fourth as they scored all of their runs off just three hits.

Jankowski started off the inning issuing a walk, two singles and a double.  Alexi Colon singled in Aaron Giunn and Cody Coffman doubled to plate Cade Stallings and Colon. Coffman advanced to third during the play on a throwing error from Hawks and scored the next at-bat on a fielder’s-choice grounder to first base to help Tusculum take the lead for good.

Hawks and Bostian led Catawba with two hits apiece. Nate King (Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS/NC State) relieved Jankowski in the eighth inning and recorded the final two outs allowing no hits and walking two batters.

The Indians continue their weekend series with Tusculum Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in the first game of a double-header.

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