Tusculum eliminates Wingate 7-4 to advance in SAC Baseball Tournament

Daulton Martin went 2-for-4 including his game-winning 2-run single in the seventh in Tusculum's 7-4 win over Wingate in the SAC Tournament (photo by Chris Lenker)
Daulton Martin went 2-for-4 including his game-winning 2-run single in the seventh in Tusculum's 7-4 win over Wingate in the SAC Tournament (photo by Chris Lenker)

KODAK, Tenn. --- Ethan Carpenter pitched a complete game while Daulton Martin's two-run single in the seventh inning proved to be the game-winner in Tusculum's 7-4 victory over Wingate in the opening game of the 2017 Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at Smokies Stadium.

With the victory, the fifth-seeded Pioneers (28-18) advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and will play No. 2 seed Lincoln Memorial on Friday at 3:45 p.m.  No. 8-seed Wingate (19-30) is eliminated from the tournament for a second consecutive year by Tusculum.

Carpenter recorded his second complete game win over the Bulldogs in the past week as he allowed four runs, seven hits, one walk and nine strikeouts to improve to 7-3 on the year.

Tusculum rallied from behind on three occasions including the bottom of the seventh inning when TC trailed 4-3.  Jeremy Glore and John Topoleski connected on back-to-back one-out singles. After a strikeout, Bradley Evans was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Martin.  Martin answered the call with his two-run base hit to left field to bring home the tying and go-ahead runs for a 5-4 Tusculum lead.

Tusculum tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, including Glore's run-scoring squeeze bunt and Johnny Reina scored on a passed ball for a 7-4 advantage.

Carpenter finished off the game by retiring the final eight batters in a row and 11 of the last 12 for his fourth complete game victory and sixth of his career which are tied for the 10th most in program history.

Martin and Glore each had two hits and two RBI to lead the Tusculum attack. Dante Key homered for the Pioneers, while Nick Lacina added a double and a RBI.

Wingate jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Colby Barnette connected on his seventh homer of the year, a solo shot to left field for his third round-tripper in as many games.

Tusculum tied it in the bottom of the frame when Glore scored on Lacina's sacrifice fly.

The Bulldogs regained the lead in the second, loading the bases on singles from Andrew Llewellyn and Joseph Mason along with a walk to Austin Turgeon.  Ty Andrus delivered a two-out, two-run single to make it 3-1.

Tusculum again answered, scoring twice in the bottom of the frame to tie it. Key started the scoring with fifth home run of the year, while Glore tied with his RBI single to bring in Cole Baxley.

Barnette led off the sixth with a single, then moved to third on a double from Micah Goodwin.  Llewellyn's RBI groundout gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 advantage.

The victory was also Carpenter's 22nd of his career, tying him for fourth place all-time with former All-American Craig Goodman (2009-2012).

Wingate reliever Cameron Price took the loss, falling to 2-3 on the season as he allowed three earned runs on four hits in two innings of work, striking out two and walking one.