GREENEVILLE, TN.—Carlos Rivera went 6-for-7 with eight runs batted in as the Tusculum baseball team swept a non-conference doubleheader over visiting North Greenville Tuesday at Pioneer Park. Rob Currie and Tio McLean scattered three hits en route to a 3-1 win in the opener. Rivera went 3-for-3 with a pair of triples, a double and five RBI as the Pioneers erupted in the night-cap for a 14-3 win to complete the sweep.
With the wins, Tusculum improves to 27-11 overall while the Crusaders fall to 3-28-1 on the year.
Game 1: Tusculum 3, North Greenville 1
Rivera got things started with his 3-for-4 and drove in all three runs as Tusculum won the opener 3-1.
NGU got on the board first in the second inning when Grant Kelley blasted his third home run of the season over the left field wall as the Crusaders led 1-0. The Pioneers answered with a run in the bottom of the third thanks to Rivera’s one-out single. Rivera would put the Pioneers out in front for the first time of the day as Aaron Hudgins and Eric Barclay led off with back-to-back singles. Rivera later laced a single up the middle to move the Pioneers up 3-1.
Currie (2-4) recorded the win as he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, a run, walked two and struck out five. McLean posted his first save of the season as he went the 1 2/3 innings where he didn’t allow a hit with five strikeouts. NGU starter Devin Vance (0-7) went the distance as he remains winless on the season.
Game 2: Tusculum 14, North Greenville 3
If his opening game wasn’t enough, Rivera followed with quite an encore as went 3-for-3 and drove in a career-best five RBI in a 14-3 victory by the Pioneers.
Rivera tied a school single-game record with two triples, his fourth and fifth of the year, including his 10th double of 2008.
Maikol Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with four RBI, including a bases-loaded triple in TC’s six-run fifth inning. For Gonzalez, it was his 17th triple of his career, which is already a school record. It also extended his hitting streak to 14 games in a row. Hudgins also posted a 2-for-3 outing, while scoring three times. Rivera and Barclay also scored three runs each in the win.
Randy Stegall and Kelley each posted two hits each in the loss for the Crusaders.
Tusculum led 5-0 after two innings before the rains came, causing a 54-minute weather delay. When the rains halted, NGU came out and plated a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, including a RBI single by Mark Bordeaux.
The Pioneers responded with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame, including a double off the wall in right by Rivera and Sean Cotten’s run-scoring double to center field as TC led 8-2. After NGU plated a run in the top of the fifth on Curt Marshall’s 12th double of the year, TC scored six in the bottom of the first, utilizing only one hit and an error. Tusculum parlayed four walks, a hit batter and Gonzalez’s three-run triple into a blow out.
TC reliever Ryan Pfleger spelled starter Max Keleher, who was hit with a liner in the third inning, forcing him out of the game. Pfleger went 2 2/3 innings to improve his record to 2-0, while McLean and Morgan Tyson tossed two shutout innings to close out the evening.