Martin homers twice, Pioneers drop heart-breaker 7-6 at Lynn

Martin homers twice, Pioneers drop heart-breaker 7-6 at Lynn

BOCA RATON, Fla. --- Tom Archer went 3-for-5 including his one-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Lynn University baseball team to a 7-6 victory over visiting Tusculum University Sunday afternoon.

The Fighting Knights improve to 2-1 on the season while Tusculum goes 1-3 on its Florida road trip to open the 2019 campaign. The Pioneers belted out a season-high 13 hits on the day, but left 11 runners on base as TU posted a hit in each of the first eight innings before being retired in order in the ninth.

The Pioneers have their four-game winning streak against the Knights snapped and lose in Boca Raton for the first time in five previous meetings at Lynn.

Tusculum shortstop Jaden Steagall had his best game in a TU uniform as he went a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBI while All-American second baseman Daulton Martin homered in each of his first two at-bats to go 2-for-4 with three RBI.  The Pioneers also got multi-hit performances from catcher Nate Montgomery and designated hitter Jake Wapinsky.

LU posted 11 hits in the game including two-hit outings by Alec Ojeda, Shayne Fontana and Anthony Sanabria.

Martin paced the Pioneers early to a 2-0 lead with a solo home run in the first inning and added another to lead-off the third.  He becomes the first TU player to hit two home runs in the same game since Kevin Victoriano homered twice against Carson-Newman on Apr. 23, 2016.

The Knights answered in the bottom of the third with four runs including a three-run blast by Fontana as Lynn led 4-2.

The Pioneers retook the lead in the fourth frame as Wapkinsky doubled down the right line.  After a walk to outfielder Seth DeHaven, Steagall lined a single to left to bring home Wapinsky and sophomore third basemen Bryson Ford hit a base hit to left center to bring in DeHaven with the inning's second run and tie the game at 4-4.  On the play, Steagall and Ford moved up a base on the throw to the plate putting runners in scoring position for Martin.  He did not get the ball out of the infield, but his grounder back to the mound drove in Steagall with the go-ahead run as TU reclaimed the lead, 5-4.

In the bottom of the fifth, Lynn rallied with two outs as Fontana drew a walk and scored on Trevor Romeo's RBI double to the gap in left field and tie the score at 5-5.

TU responded in the seventh inning as first baseman Garrett Dupuis led off with a walk, moved to second on Zack Finchum's bunt.  With two outs, Steagall came through again with his RBI single as the Pioneers led 6-5.  But in the bottom of the seventh, Archer cranked a one-out triple to center field and Ojeda followed with his game-tying single to right.

In the bottom of the ninth, Sanabria led off with a double to right field. Cal Bocchino bunted him over to third base to set-up Archer as his single down the right field line brought home Sanabria with the game-winner.

Lynn reliever Connor Davis (1-0) picked up the victory in relief as he pitched 2.1 shutout innings as he held TU to one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.  TU reliever Christian Cuba (0-1), who was credited with the save in Friday's win at Barry University, was tagged with the loss on Sunday as he allowed one run on two hits in his 1.1 innings of work.

The Pioneers return to action next weekend as they travel to 2018 NCAA II Southeast Region finalist Belmont Abbey for a three-game series beginning with Friday's 5 p.m. opener.