MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill baseball team (8-11, 2-5 SAC) earned a split over Tusculum (14-9, 3-2 SAC) Sunday afternoon at Henderson Field. The Pioneers took game one by a score of 11-7 while Mars Hill took game two by a mark of 5-4.
GAME ONE: TU 11, MHU 7
A five-run first inning helped propel the Pioneers past Mars Hill, taking game one by a score of 11-7. Opening the scoring for Tusculum was Daulton Martin who smashed a two-run home run over the right field wall to give Tusculum the lead in the top of the first. Following Jarel McDade's RBI double to center field, Zach Finchum tacked on two more runs with a single.
The Lions responded by scoring three straight runs over the second and third frames. Adam Plouffe's sacrifice fly in the second plated Gray McCurry. To cut the lead down to two, Brett Brubaker's two-run bomb over the left center field wall scored Daniel Vitello for Mars Hill's third run of the contest.
Tusculum scored five straight runs through the middle frames, bumping their lead up to 10-3 entering the bottom of the sixth. In the top of the fourth, a sacrifice fly from Martin scored Finchum and after scoring on an error in the top of the sixth, the Pioneers added two more runs off of a Bryson Ford two-run home run.
Mars Hill scored the final three runs of the contest over the seventh and eighth innings. Scottie Lee's RBI single in the seventh scored Brubaker and in the eighth, Matt Honeycutt's walk with the bases loaded plated Cline to narrow the deficit to 11-6. On a wild pitch, Hunter Holland was able to cross home for the Lions' seventh run of the game.
DeHaven and Nate Montgomery each had three hits for Tusculum while Martin led all players with three RBI. Brubaker led the Lions offensively, going 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Charles Hall struck out 13 in 6.2 innings for his third win of the year. Luke Kimrey gave up five runs on six hits in one inning pitched for the loss.
GAME TWO: MHU 5, TU 4
The Lions scored five unanswered runs to come away with the 5-4 come-from-behind victory to earn the split.
Tied at four in the bottom of the seventh, the Lions loaded the bases. Following a Cody Cline single and walks to Brett Brubaker and Matt Honeycutt, Scottie Lee approached the plate. During his at-bat, a wild pitch from Tusculum allowed Cline to cross home and give Mars Hill the win.
Tusculum scored all four of their runs in the top of the second inning. Chase Wullenweber's two-run double down the left field line plated Trey Hinton and Jarel McDade. With runners on first and third, Seth DeHaven's RBI single into right field plated Zach Finchum, but as Wullenweber rounded third in an attempt to expand the Pioneers' lead, he was thrown out at home by Brett Brubaker. Daulton Martin's single up the middle allowed DeHaven to score the fourth and final Pioneers' run of the contest.
Brubaker began the comeback bid for Mars Hill in the bottom of the third with a RBI groundout. Daniel Vitello's solo home run in the bottom of the fifth cut the deficit to two before Lee's crushed a two-run home run over the left field wall to knot the game at four in the bottom of the sixth.
Wullenweber led the Pioneers with two RBI in the game. Both Vitello and Cline recorded two hits for Mars Hill while Lee led the team with two RBI.
Cameron Howell picked up the win in two innings pitched, not allowing a hit. Pedro Rodriguez was credited with the loss, allowing one run on one hit in 0.2 innings pitched.
The Lions wrap up the three-game series with Tusculum on Monday, March 11th at Henderson Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.