Crusaders fall at Tusculum
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Crusaders fall at Tusculum

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum College baseball rallied from behind twice, including two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning in the night-cap as the Pioneers swept a non-conference doubleheader over visiting North Greenville University Wednesday at Pioneer Park.

Senior Matt Riggs (Dayton, Tenn.) went 3-for-4 as Tusculum won the opener 10-2. In the second game, Adam Beacham (Atlanta, Ga.) came through with a walk-off, two-run single as TC battled to a 3-2 victory.

Tusculum improves to 27-12-1 on the season and records its eighth straight win over the Crusaders (9-33).

Game 1: Tusculum 10, North Greenville 2

Riggs posted a double and a triple amongst his three hits and junior Kevin Hammons (Jonesborough, Tenn.) tossed a two-run, two-hit complete game as Tusculum won the opener 10-2.

The Pioneers amassed 11 hits, including a pair of doubles by senior Skip Talarek (Great Falls, Va.) and a pair of hits by senior Kenny Reed (Knoxville, Tenn.).

Hammons allowed two hits, two runs, a walk and seven strikeouts, while retiring the final 14 batters to improve his record to 2-1.

North Greenville jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Eric Loy (Maryville, Tenn.) struck out, but reached base on a wild pitch. He would later score on Carlos Cardenas' (Guayaquil, Ecaudor) single and Mike Reis (Cleveland, Ohio) would cross the plate himself on a wild pitch.

TC would cut the deficit in half with a run in the second inning as Reed reached on a single and later crossed the plate on a throwing error to make the score 2-1.

Tusculum would take the lead with a two-run, third inning. Riggs tripled and came into to score on Talarek's first double of the game. Talarek would score the eventual winning run on an error to move up 3-2.

TC added three runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth to put the game out of reach. The big hit of the fifth inning came on Riggs' two-run, two-out double.

NGU starter Brandon Young (Thomson, Ga.) went the distance as he surrendered 11 hits, 10 runs, five earned, a walk and three strikeouts to fall to 3-7 on the year.

Game 2: Tusculum 3, North Greenville 2

Riggs shined again as he went 2-for-3, while Beacham came off the bench with a game-winning hit as TC captured the finale 3-2.

Senior pitcher Brent Gabel (Conneautville, Pa.) came on in relief of starter Adam Hall (Hermitage, Tenn.) to toss the final 2.1 innings to improve his record to 7-3 on the season. NGU starter Seth Montgomery (Largo, Fla.) pitched valiantly as he allowed five hits, three runs, one earned, walked two and fanned one in his six innings of pitching.

The Crusaders were led by Mike Reis' (Cleveland, Ohio) 3-for-3 effort, while Loy tallied a pair of hits in the loss.

Like the first game, NGU jumped out to a 2-0 lead, plating a run in the first and another in the fifth inning. Loy connected on a one-out double down the left field line and Reis followed with a RBI single. In the second frame, NGU had runners on the corners with no outs. TC got out of the jam as Grayson Smith (York, S.C.) popped up his bunt attempt to Hall on the mound and threw out the runner at first to complete the double play. He ended the inning with a ground out to keep the score 1-0.

Tusculum also had a chance to move ahead in the bottom of the second as the Pioneers loaded the bases with no outs. Like Hall, Montgomery got a double play and a fly out to get out of the inning.

NGU added its second run in the fifth as Smith led off with a bunt singe, moved to second on a bunt and scored on Loy's RBI single up the middle. With Loy moving to second on the throw, Gabel relieved Hall to face the hot-hitting Reis. Reis connected on a single, but Loy was thrown out at the plate on a throw by senior outfielder Josh Wolff (Louisville, Ky.) and a tag out by catcher Adam Wilson (Russellville, Tenn.).

TC cut the deficit in half in the sixth as Riggs led off with a double off the wall and later scored on Greg Stotser's (Columbus, Ga.) fly ball.

After Gabel retired the side in the top of the seventh, senior Tyler Mayfield (Port Orchard, Wash.) led off with a walk and moved to second on Tim Brown's (Flint, Mich.) bunt single up the first base line. Heath Holder (Boone, N.C.) loaded the bases as he reached on an error, setting the stage for Beacham's late-game heroics.

Stotser went 0-for-5 on the day as he had his 14-game hitting streak halted.

North Greenville will be on the road tomorrow at USC Upstate.