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Tusculum drops two 10-inning games to Wingate in SAC doubleheader

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Wingate University baseball team won a pair of 10-inning games, sweeping a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader at Tusculum College Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Park.

The Bulldogs rallied for a 10-8 victory in the opener, while winning 3-1 in 10 innings of a scheduled seven-inning contest in the night-cap. Wingate wins the weekend series 2-1 and improve to 21-16 overall and 6-9 in league play.  The Pioneers (25-10, 9-6 SAC) have their 12-game home winning streak and are swept in a home doubleheader for the first time since March 19, 2011 when they dropped a twin-bill to Lincoln Memorial.

Game 1: Wingate 10, Tusculum 8 (10 innings) (Box)

Bill Krebs and Tyler Simmons each drove in a pair of runs as Wingate rallied from a five-run deficit to win 10-8 in 10 innings.

Colby Barnette went 4-of-5 with two doubles, while Bailey Connell accounted for a 3-for-5 performance at the plate.

Tusculum’s Kevin Victoriano went 3-for-6 with three RBI and 3 runs scored for the Pioneers, including a pair of doubles and his team-leading 11th home run of the season.  Nick Lacina added two hits and four RBI, while Zack Finchum posted a pair of singles..

Tusculum took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, getting a RBI double from Victoriano and a two-run single from Lacina.  Victoriano led off the third frame with a solo homer to make it 4-0.

Wingate cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth as Barnette started the frame with a single, then moved to second on a walk. A TC error allowed the first run to score, while an RBI single from Connell drove in the second run for the Bulldogs.

The Pioneers responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a five-run lead. Victoriano's RBI double started the scoring, while Lacina answered with a two-run single, giving the Pioneers a 7-2 advantage.

Wingate started chipping away at the deficit in the sixth, as Shane Billings came through with a two-out RBI single.  In the seventh, Barnett led off with a double and scored on Simmons’ two-out single in the seventh to make it a 7-4 game.

The Bulldogs scored twice in the eighth to cut the lead 7-6 thanks to a two-out base hit from Bill Krebs.

Wingate’s Zach Little was hit by a pitch to start the top of the ninth, then stole second and moved to third on a throwing error on the play.  Little would score the tying run with a RBI groundout from Simmons to send the game into extra innings.

Grecco reached on a one-out single in the 10th, then stole second. A pair of walks loaded the bases, while a wild pitch allowed Grecco to score the go-ahead run. The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the inning to extend their lead to 10-7.

Tusculum attempted a rally in the bottom of the 10th as Dante Key drew a one-out walk and moved to second when J.J. Wesley was hit by a pitch.  Wilke drove in Key with his two-out single as the Pioneers had the tying runs aboard at first and third.  But Wingate reliever Tyler Brown ended the game with a strikeout to secure the win for the visitors.

Brown picked up the victory to move to 4-1 as he allowed a run on one hit in two innings of work, striking out three and walking one.  TC reliever Devan Watts took the loss, falling to 0-3 on the season.

Tusculum starter Christian Raasch went seven innings, allowed four runs on nine hits in his 92-pitch performance in the no-decision.
Game 2: Wingate 3, Tusculum 1 (10 innings) (Box)

Krebs drove in the winning run in the top of the 10th inning as the Bulldogs won the second game 3-1.

Wingate took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning thanks to a pair of Tusculum errors.

The Pioneers tied it in the bottom of the frame on a Zach Lippencott’s sacrifice fly.

That would be all of the scoring until the 10th inning as starting pitchers Brandon Donahue and Ethan Carpenter were locked into a pitchers’ duel.

Billings started the 10th with a single, then moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored the go-ahead run on a Krebs’ RBI single. A Tusculum error later in the inning would allow Krebs to score, making it 3-1.

Three walks loaded the bases for Tusculum in the bottom of the 10th, but Brown came in and induced a game-ending pop-out.

Cameron Price (3-0) picked up the win in relief as he tossed two shutout innings, struck out two and walked three while allowing a pair of hits. Brown notched his fourth save of the season by recording the final out of the contest.

Carpenter pitched into the 10th inning before giving up a lead-off single. He suffered the loss to fall to 4-3 on the year as he pitched nine innings, scattered nine hits, allowed two runs, one earned, walked three and struck out six.

Simmons finished the game going 3-for-3 for the Bulldogs, while Billings also had a three-hit effort in the Bulldogs 10-hit game.  Tusculum was limited to five hits in the contest.

The Pioneers return to action on Tuesday when they host Lee University for a 6 p.m. contest at Pioneer Park.

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