Baseball drops both ends of doubleheader at Tusculum

GREENEVILLE, TN -- Tusculum College's Mike Calano went 4-for-6 and hit a pair of home runs as the Pioneers swept a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader over league-leading Catawba on Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Park. In the first game, Tusculum (25-14, 8-7 SAC) capitalized on four Catawba errors including three alone in a 5-run seventh inning as TC prevailed 7-3. In the second game, Guy O'Connell (Perth, AUSTRALIA) and Kenny Lewis (Scottsville, VA) combined on a seven-hit shutout as the Pioneers won 6-0.In the opener, Tusculum scored seven unearned runs including five in the seventh inning en route to a 7-3 victory. Trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Catawba ace Zach Snyder (Lexington, NC) retired the first two batters with strike out and a fly ball, but seniors Brendan Burk (Leesburg, VA) and Doug Hering (Okeana, OH) reached base on an error and a single respectively to set the table for Calano. Calano drilled a Snyder pitch down the left field line for a three-run home run as TC moved ahead 5-3. Tusculum added a two more runs when David McMahon (Knoxville, TN) singled and scored on Robbie Bouman's (Sterling, VA) two-run blast to give TC a four-run lead. Rookie Wes Hill (Stuarts Draft, VA) spelled TC starter Brian Lovett in the eighth and retired all six batters he would face including three consecutive strikeouts to preserve the win. Tusculum jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a two-out, two-run single by Burk. George Hanger (Stauton, VA) led off with a walk and Adam Hicks (Bristol, TN) reached on a fielding error by shortstop Blair Reynolds (King, NC), which was earmarked to be a double play. Freshman Josh Wolff (Louisville, KY) bunted Hanger and Hicks up a base for Burk. Catawba answered in its next at-bat when Mark Smith (Browns Summitt, NC) walked and moved to second on Chad Hill's (Bennett, NC) bunt single. Spence Southard (Greensboro, NC) came through with a RBI single, scoring Smith from second and Matt Baker (Charlotte, NC) scored Southard and Hill with his 10th double of the season. Lovett and Snyder each pitched well for their respective squads as both hurlers went seven innings. Lovett records his fourth straight win to improve to 6-2 on the year and 4-1 in the league. The Knoxville, TN, rookie allowed seven hits, three runs, walked three and struck out four. Snyder (6-3) deserved a better fate as he surrendered seven unearned runs on eight hits, walked two and fanned one. In only his second collegiate pitching start, Guy O'Connell (2-0) pitched masterfully retiring the first seven batters en route to a 6-0 victory in the nightcap. O'Connell scattered three hits and struck out four in his five innings of action. Tusculum plated two runs in the second inning in an almost identical manner. Hanger and Hicks led off with consecutive singles and moved to second and third on a bunt by Wolff. Junior Chuck Roberts (London, ONT, CANADA) drove in the first run of the day with a sacrifice fly and Hicks came around to score on Tim Wallin's (Springfield, IL) single to make the score 2-0. The Pioneers added an unearned run in the third inning and scored another run in the fifth frame. Bouman led off with his 10th double of the year, moved to third on an O'Connell fly out and scored on Hanger's fly ball. TC added two more run in the sixth on Calano's second homer of the day, a two-run shot to left field giving him eight on the season. Catawba starter Matt Fairweather (Lenoir, NC) went the distance as he allowed eight hits, six runs, five earned, walked two and struck out three to fall to 6-3. Catawba's Chad Hill went 4-for-8 on the day and stole a base. #####

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