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Pioneers win 10th in a row in 19-4 home victory over King

Seth DeHaven makes this diving catch to end the 3rd inning in Tusculum's 19-4 home win over King (photo by Chuck Williams)
Seth DeHaven makes this diving catch to end the 3rd inning in Tusculum's 19-4 home win over King (photo by Chuck Williams)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University baseball team won its 10th consecutive victory and matched a season-high in run production as the Pioneers defeated King University 19-4 Tuesday night in a non-conference contest at Pioneer Park.

Tusculum (11-7) equaled the 19-run performance it posted in Sunday's 19-0 home win over Goldey-Beacom.  TU finished the game with 12 hits, but also tallied 11 walks and Pioneer batters were by a pitch five times, tying for the sixth-most in school history.

The 10-game winning streak is the ninth longest in school history and first double-digit winning streak since 2017 when the Pioneers won 11 in a row.

The Tornado (4-8) went through 10 pitchers who combined for 210 total pitches while also committing five errors on the night.

Tusculum jumped out to a 10-0 lead thanks to four runs in the second inning and six in the fourth as the Pioneers sent 12 batters to the plate.

Nate Montgomery posted for his third consecutive 3-hit outing which included his fifth double of the season while tallying one run and one hit.  Jarel McDade, Jaden Steagall and Seth DeHaven all finished with two hits apiece.  DeHaven finished with four RBI while Zack Finchum had three RBI in the win.

The Pioneers utilized four pitchers including starter Alec Lay who retired the first 10 batters in a row before surrendering a single to Junior Renwick in the fourth frame.

Lay was spotted a 10-0 lead heading to the top of the fifth, but the TU southpaw gave up a solo home run to Ashton King and three more hits and a walk as three runs crossed the plate to trim the Tusculum lead to 10-3 with one out.  Lay was relieved by Christian Cuba who ended the rally with back-to-back strikeouts.

Cuba (1-3) pitched 2 1/3 innings where he allowed one hit, no runs, three walks and five strikeouts to post his first win of the season.  Mitch McCain took over for Cuba in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs.  McCain got a ground out to end the frame and pitched a perfect eighth inning as he struck out the side.

Tusculum will open its 20th South Atlantic Conference season this weekend when they travel to Wingate University to take on the Bulldogs.  Wingate is ranked fifth in this week's NCBWA Division II All-Southeast Region Poll and are 9-3 overall including 2-1 in SAC play as the Bulldogs took two of three games over nationally-ranked Catawba.

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