MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill baseball team (8-12, 2-6 SAC) was defeated by Tusculum (15-9, 4-2 SAC) by a score of 16-8 at Henderson Field on Monday afternoon to conclude their three-game series.
Tusculum took the early 2-0 lead off of a Daulton Martin two-run home run in the top of the first. In the bottom half of the inning, a sacrifice fly from Gray McCurry cut the deficit in half before entering an hour long rain delay.
When play resumed, the teams went scoreless in the second, but the Pioneers extended their lead to four runs in the top of the third. Nate Montgomery's fielder's choice reestablished the two-run advantage as Bryson Ford scored and later in the inning, Jarel McDade plated two more Pioneer's with a single through the left side.
The Pioneers ran their lead up to nine in the top of the fourth as Trey Hinton drove in two with a double into left center field. Montgomery cleared the bases later in the frame with a three-run home run to put Tusculum up 10-1 entering the bottom half of the fourth.
Daniel Vitello responded with a three-run home run of his own over the center field wall to score Adam Plouffe and Cody Cline to pull within six. Scottie Lee, later in the stanza, singled through the left side to plate Brett Brubaker to cut the Pioneers' lead in half.
Tusculum added four runs in the fifth, highlighted by McDade's two-run double. McDade struck again in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run to push the Pioneers' lead to 16-5 entering the eighth inning.
The Lions scored twice in the eighth to pull within nine and Kameron Reynold's RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth plated the Lions' eighth and final run of the day.
McDade led the Pioneers' offensively, going 3-for-5 with six RBI on the day. Montgomery went 2-for-5 with five RBI and four runs scored. Brubaker led the Lions with four hits on the day and scoring three runs.
Kent Noe came away with the win, allowing two runs on four hits in 4.2 innings pitched. Hunter Burnette suffered the loss, allowing five runs on three hits in three innings pitched.
The Lions return to action on Tuesday, March 12th with a doubleheader against Piedmont International. First pitch at Henderson Field is scheduled for 12 p.m.