Three Pioneers named to NCBWA All-Region Team

Three Pioneers named to NCBWA All-Region Team

PEMBROKE, N.C. --- Three Tusculum College student-athletes have been named to the 2017 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II All-Southeast Region Team.  Starting pitchers Ethan Carpenter and Tim Hardy, along with third baseman John Topoleski all received honorable mention recognition.
Carpenter, a senior right-handed pitcher from Polkville, North Carolina, posted a 7-3 record with a 3.72.  In his 14 starts, he recorded four complete games with a shutout.  His 95 strikeouts are also the third-most in a Tusculum single-season to earn a spot on the 2017 All-South Atlantic Conference first team.  His 95 strikeouts are second in the conference and 20th in the nation (NCAA II).

He went 3-0 record in his last five starts with victories against sixth-ranked Tampa and back-to-back complete game wins over Wingate in his regular season finale and in the opening game of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament.  He was named SAC and NCBWA Southeast Region Pitcher of the Week.

Carpenter also recorded wins against Bellarmine, Mars Hill, Newberry and Brevard. In the win over Mars Hill, he pitched a two-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over the Lions.

During his career at Tusculum he accounted for a 22-12 record for the fourth-most wins in school history.  His 235 career strikeouts are second in the TC record book, while his 50 career starts are the most by a Pioneer.  His three career shutouts are second in Tusculum history, while his 278.2 innings pitched are the second-most in the Black and Orange.  He finished his career with a 3.75 ERA while his six career complete games are tied for the 10th most by a TC pitcher.

Hardy, a sophomore left-hander from Monroe, North Carolina, boasted a 9-3 record with a 3.91 ERA. His 94 strikeouts were third in the league (21st in NCAA II) and the fourth-most in a TC single season.  His nine victories (2nd in SAC/16th in NCAA II) are tied for the eighth most in a season by a Pioneer and earned All-SAC second team accolades.

He opened the season going 7-0 in his first nine appearances, including eight starts.  He accounted for wins against Lynn, Coker, Mars Hill, Newberry Brevard, Anderson, and Bluefield State along with victories against two nationally-ranked opponents in 18th-ranked Belmont Abbey and sixth-ranked Tampa.  He recorded eight or more strikeouts on five occasions, including a season-high 10 strikeouts in back-to-back wins over Mars Hill and Newberry.

Topoleski, a senior from Lawrenceville, Ga., finished second for the Pioneers with his .377 batting average, which was ninth in the league.  The 2017 All-SAC first team third baseman totaled 63 hits this year including four doubles and two home runs to go along with his 36 RBI.  He also led the team in sacrifice bunts (9 – 4th in SAC/40th in NCAA II) and being hit by pitch (9).

The two-time All-SAC selection wrapped up his career with a 15-game hitting streak going 23-for-53 (.426) during that 15-game span and finished the season with 18 multiple-hit outings.

Topoleski was also named to the 2017 SAC Gold Glove team at third base, an honor he received in 2014.  He had a .925 fielding percentage at third where he logged 84 fielding assists and 27 putouts in his 120 total fielding chances.

He has proven to be one of the most durable and dependable third basemen in Tusculum history.  His 209 career hits are the fifth-most in school history and are the most by a TC third baseman.  He also holds school records with his 37 career sacrifice bunts and his 30 times he's been hit by a pitch.  He has scored 114 runs and driven in 116 RBI.  Of his hit total, 27 have been doubles while also hitting five home runs with one triple.

Tusculum ended the season with a 30-20 record for the program's 17th consecutive winning season and 15th straight 30-win campaign.

2017 NCBWA Division II All-Southeast Region Team
First Team
SP: Joseph Benitez, USC Aiken
SP: Austin Hutchison, Mount Olive
SP: Thomas St. Clair, Lenoir-Rhyne
RP: Zach Mozingo, Mount Olive
C: Andrew Webster, Barton
1B: Mason McClellan, Columbus State
2B: Hunter Merrill, Mars Hill
3B: Chase Allen, Limestone
SS: Brandon Benson, Georgia College
OF: Nick Beinlich, Belmont Abbey
OF: Michael Gouge, North Georgia
OF: Luke Setzer, Catawba
DH: Zach Mozingo, Mount Olive
UTL: Calvin Hawke, Barton

Second Team
SP: Caleb Kutsche, Columbus State
SP: Daniel McCrary, North Georgia
SP: Bruce Zimmerman, Mount Olive
RP: Bryan Blanton, Catawba
C: Zach Almond, Catawba
1B: Drew Ellis, Mount Olive
2B: Kyle Smith, Catawba
3B: Cal Gentry, Georgia College
SS: Connor Hoover, North Georgia
OF: Logan Augustine, Lincoln Memorial
OF: Mitchell Price, USC Aiken
OF: Mike Warren, Armstrong State
DH: Ryan Patterson, Armstrong State
UT: Colin Rosenbaum, Belmont Abbey

Honorable Mention
SP: Steven Bower, North Georgia; Tuker Burgess, North Greenville; Anthony Burke, UNC Pembroke; Ethan Carpenter, Tusculum; Tim Hardy, Tusculum; Michael Livingston, Young Harris; Dylan Peppers, North Georgia
1B: Ethan Baucom, UNC Pembroke; Sebastian Samuels, Montevallo; Timmy Wages, Lincoln Memorial
2B: Michael Bell, North Georgia; Caleb Ledbetter, Montevallo
3B: Alex Kranick, Georgia Southwestern; Zach Scudder, Pfeiffer; John Topoleski, Tusculum
SS: Tyler Adams, Lincoln Memorial; Ricky Surum, Mount Olive
OF: Ryan Addington, Carson-Newman; Brett Brubaker, Mars Hill; Nick Debo, UNC Pembroke; Garrett Lowery, Limestone; Logan Mattix, Georgia College;  David Mayo, Mount Olive; Roberto Rivera, UNC Pembroke; Clark Scolamiero, North Greenville; Daymon Totherow, Newberry
DH: Ben Herring, Newberry; Bill Leroy, North Georgia.
UTL: Jarratt Mobley, UNC Pembroke; Zach Odom, Young Harris

Region Player of the Year: Brandon Benson, Georgia College
Region Pitcher of the Year: Austin Hutchison, Mount Olive
Region Coach of the Year: Carl Lancaster, Mount Olive