Former Pioneer All-Region third baseman John Topoleski is entering his second year on the Tusculum baseball staff as a graduate assistant coach. Topoleski assists with all aspects of the TU baseball program working with the infielders and hitting.
The Lawrenceville, Georgia native proved to be one of the most durable and dependable third basemen during his Tusculum career which spanned four seasons from 2014-2017. His 209 career hits are the fifth-most in school history and are the most at his position. He also holds program records with his 37 career sacrifice bunts and was hit by a pitch a school record 30 times. He scored 114 runs and drove in 116 RBI. Of his hit total, 27 went for doubles while also hitting five home runs with one triple.
He led the Pioneers to four consecutive 30-win seasons as Tusculum posted a 94-78 overall record including 60-45 in South Atlantic Conference play. Tusculum finished in the top half of the league standings in each of his campaigns including a runner-up finish 2016 while capturing a share of the program's fourth SAC Tournament title.
In his 2014 freshman season, he garnered All-SAC honorable mention accolades and earned a spot on the SAC All-Defensive team. He finished third on the team with his .329 batting average and fourth with 47 total hits. He accounted for nine doubles, 23 RBI and a home run to go along with his eight stolen bases.
In 2016, he started in 55 games at third base and batted .311 with 61 hits including seven doubles, one home run and 30 RBI. He posted a team-best 14-game hitting streak where he batted .412 during the streak. He batted .316 with three RBI and two runs scored and played errorless baseball in his 16 total chances during the Pioneers' SAC Tournament run. He earned a spot on the SAC All-Tournament team as Tusculum earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Pioneers posted a 2-2 record to finish third at the Southeast Regional in Columbus, Georgia as Topoleski recorded a hit in all four games.
He saved his best season for last in 2017 as he earned All-SAC first team honors batting .377 which was ninth in the league. He totaled 63 hits in the season with four doubles, two home runs and 36 RBI. He finished his career with a 15-game hitting streak going 23-for-53 (.426) during that run and finished the year with 18 multiple-hit outings. He returned to the SAC All-Defensive team for a second team as he posted a .925 fielding percentage. He was also named to the All-Southeast Region honorable mention team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA).
Topoleski earned his Bachelor's degree from Tusculum in 2017 while majoring in criminal justice and was a member of the Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll. He is working on his graduate degree in human resource management and talent development.