Martin, Pioneers have record night in 24-4 win at Lenoir-Rhyne, Jones posts 699th victory

Daulton Martin is congratulated following his 3-run homer in the 3rd inning in Tusculum's 24-4 win at Lenoir-Rhyne (photo by Chris Lenker)
Daulton Martin is congratulated following his 3-run homer in the 3rd inning in Tusculum's 24-4 win at Lenoir-Rhyne (photo by Chris Lenker)

HICKORY, N.C. --- Daulton Martin went 5-for-6 with six RBI including a home run as the Tusculum baseball team routed Lenoir-Rhyne 24-4 Friday night in South Atlantic Conference action at Bears Field.

Tusculum (19-19, 11-8 SAC) snaps a three-game losing streak and with the victory, climbs into a three-way tie for third place in the league standings. It was also the 699th career win for Tusculum head coach Doug Jones.

All nine TC starters recorded a hit as Martin's five-hit performance is a career-high and tied for the third-most by a Pioneer in a single-game.  His six runs batted in are also a career-best and tied for sixth-best in school history.

Tusculum's Seth DeHaven tied a school single-game record with his five runs scored as he had a career night going 4-for-5 with three RBI.

Tusculum finished the night with a season-high 25 hits, which are tied for the fourth most in program history and just one off the record 26, established three times including TC's 26 hits posted at Lenoir-Rhyne in 2012.  TC's 24 runs scored are the second-most this season (25 vs. Notre Dame, Ohio on Feb. 19, 2018) and tied for the fourth-most in program history.

Martin extends his school-record streak to 50 consecutive games of reaching base safely, dating back to last season. He also raises his batting average to a league-best .421.

Zack Finchum recorded four hits on the evening while Jarel McDade tallied five RBI on his two hits, including his sixth double of the season.

Tusculum starter Charles Hall pitched eight strong innings, scattering seven hits, allowed four runs, four walks and poste seven strikeouts to improve to 4-1 on the season.  Lenoir-Rhyne starter Matt Sullivan (4-3) suffered the loss as he went 2 2/3 innings, allowed 10 hits, eight runs, and a strikeout as the Bears used eight pitchers on the night.

Tusculum jumped out to a 9-0 lead scoring five runs in the second inning and four in the third frame.  In the five-run second, TC tallied six hits including a two-run home run by Bradley Evans and RBI single from Martin and a two-out, two-run double from Nate Montgomery.  In the third inning, Evans doubles and moved to second on Tyler Hinton's infield hit.  DeHaven drove in Evans with a single to center and Martin followed with a three-run blast to right field, his fourth home run of the season.

The Bears trimmed the deficit to 9-3 with three runs in the fifth.  But the Pioneers erupted for seven runs in the sixth as TC sent 13 batters to the plate.  Tusculum scored two more in the seventh and plated six runs in the eighth.

Also having multi-hit performances were Hinton who went 2-for-5 with three runs scored and Bryson Ford, who went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI.

The Bears (23-15, 10-9 SAC) finished with nine hits, including two hits each from Matthew Freeman and Zack Shoemaker.

Due to heavy rains due in the region on Saturday, the two teams will wrap-up the three-game weekend series on Sunday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Bears Field.