GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Daulton Martin went 3-for-5 including a three-run double in the fourth inning to lead Tusculum to a 7-4 South Atlantic Conference win over Anderson Monday afternoon at Pioneer Park.
The Pioneers (16-15, 9-6 SAC) complete the three-game sweep over the Trojans (8-19, 5-10 SAC) as Tusculum moves into a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings. TC has won four of its last five contests and continue their 10-game home-stand as they host Bellarmine on Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-game midweek series.
Tusculum out-hit the Trojans by an 11-8 margin as the two teams combined to turn five double plays (AU 3, TC 2).
Tusculum manufactured a run in the second inning as Colby Skeen continued his torrid hitting and led off with a single. A Zack Finchum bunt moved Skeen to second and he would hustle to third on a ground out. He would later cross the plate on a wild pitch to score the game's first run.
Anderson tied the game at 1-1 in the third when Dillon Carpenter led off with a walk and later scored on Jackson Strange's RBI single. The Trojans were poised to score as they loaded the bases with one out. But reliever Colin Johnston got out of the inning when a Justin Helms hit a ground ball to third baseman Bryson Ford. He threw to home for the force out at the plate and catcher Nate Montgomery relayed the throw to first to complete the inning-ending triple play.
In the bottom of the fourth, Edison Cabrera got on with a one-out double and back-to-back two-out walks to Bryson Ford and Seth DeHaven loaded the bases for Martin. Martin sent a towering blast over the centerfielder that landed at the base of the wall and clearing the bases with his 10th double of the year. He would score the inning's fourth run on Jarel McDade's single.
The Trojans answered with three runs in the fifth when Chandler Castleberry and Matt Overturn led off with singles. TC pitching got a pair of strikeouts, but pinch-hitter Chase Stephens lined a single down the left field line to bring in Castleberry. Dalton Shaw was hit by a pitch to load the bases and William Thomas responded with a two-run single to trim the deficit to 5-4.
Tusculum got a pair of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a pair of hits, a hit batter and an AU error. Skeen led off with his second hit of the game and moved to second on a dropped fly ball to the outfield. Cabrera bunted them into scoring position and with Garrett Dupuis at the plate, Skeen scored on a balk by starter Will Gee. With Finchum now at third base, Dupuis hit a fly ball down the right field which was caught, but it was deep enough for the run to score the second run of the inning as the Pioneers led 7-4.
TC reliever Leurys Diaz pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings with a walk and two strikeouts. He ran into trouble in the top of the eighth as Anderson got two runners aboard with one out. But Mitch McCain took over and got an inning-ending double play to hold onto the three-run edge. McCain retired the side in order in the ninth to record his second save in as many days.
Johnston earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the year as he scattered eight hits, allowed three runs and struck out three in his 2 2/3 innings of work. Gee suffered the loss for the Trojans to move to 2-4 on the year.
McDade, Skeen and Cabrera joined Martin with multiple hits in the series finale. Anderson was led at the plate by Castleberry's two-hit performance.