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Hall breaks DII strikeout record, Pioneers beat Queens 10-1

Charles Hall broke the NCAA II single-game record with his 22 strikeouts in Tusculum's 10-1 win over Queens (Photo by Chuck Williams)
Charles Hall broke the NCAA II single-game record with his 22 strikeouts in Tusculum's 10-1 win over Queens (Photo by Chuck Williams)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum University senior pitcher Charles Hall broke the NCAA Division II single-game record with 22 strikeouts to lead the Pioneers to a 10-1 South Atlantic Conference victory over Queens University of Charlotte Friday night at Pioneer Park.

Hall breaks the D-II national mark previously held by five other pitchers with the most recent coming on April 1, 1999 when Nate Kosoc of Saint Rose fanned 21 batters against NJIT.  Hall's 22-strikeout effort is ranked seventh for all NCAA divisions with Buddy Schultz' (Miami, Ohio) 26 strikeouts against Wright State in 1971 being the all-time best.

The Pioneers improve to 16-10 overall and 5-2 in league play while the Royals fall to 5-16, 1-6 SAC.

Hall surpassed the TU single-game record of 17 strikeouts posted by 2016 National Pitcher of the Year Placido Torres, who achieved the feat against Stillman University.  Hall also bests the South Atlantic Conference record of 19 established by former Wingate University hurler Danny Lampley who did it twice in the 1998 season.

Hall's record night came on 123 pitches as he struck out every Royals batter at least once including eight of the nine Queens' hitters at least two times each.  Hall recorded two strikeouts in every inning and fanned the side four times including the first, second, fifth and sixth innings.  Sixteen were swinging strikeouts while six came looking.

The Dumfries, Virginia native leads the nation with his 88 strikeouts this year and has struck out 10 or more batters in six consecutive starts and breaks his previous best of 16 strikeouts against Belmont Abbey earlier this season.

He improves his record to 4-0 on the year and posts his first complete game of his career.

Tusculum jumped out to a 4-0 lead scoring three runs in the second inning and one in third.  The Pioneers got back-to-back doubles from Bradley Evans and Zack Finchum in the second. TU made it 4-0 when Finchum doubled for a second straight inning with his sixth two-bagger of the year.

Meanwhile, Hall faced the minimum nine batters through the first three innings with eight coming via strikeout including the first six outs of the game.

Queens' Dominic Ford broke up the no-hit bid with his lead-off infield single in the fourth inning and would later score on a wild pitch to make it a 4-1 contest.  In the bottom of the frame, TU took advantage took advantage of three Royals' errors to push the lead out to 6-1.

After giving up his lone run in the fourth, Hall retired 11 straight batters with 10 on strikeouts.

Leading 6-1 heading to the top of the eighth, having already broken the school single-game strikeout record in the previous frame, Hall set his eye on Lampley's conference mark and tied it and broke it with the final two outs of the eighth.

The Pioneers tacked on four more runs in the eighth inning including a two-run double by Daulton Martin and Bryson Ford's RBI single to lead 10-1

Heading to the ninth inning and a destiny with history, Hall's first pitch hit lead-off batter Dominic Ford in the head.  Hall got an infield pop-up for the first out.  He followed with a strikeout of Noah Jones to tie the NCAA II record and broke the 20-year old record with his strikeout of Ryan Dudney for the final out of the game and his 22nd fanned batter of the game.

Tusculum finished the game with 10 hits including Finchum's 3-for-4 performance and two hits each from Ford and catcher Nate Montgomery.  Martin's double was his SAC-leading 17th of the season as he reached base three times and posted three RBI.

Queens starter Zach Kelly (1-3) went seven innings where he allowed six runs (two earned), six hits, three walks and eight strikeouts in his 124-pitch effort.

The two teams will wrap-up the three-game series on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

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