Tusculum overpowers No. 23 Catawba
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Craig Goodman struck out nine in his five innings of work, while Jason Gardner recorded a four-inning save to lead the Tusculum College baseball team to a 7-3 win at 23rd-ranked Catawba College Sunday afternoon at Newman Park in a non-conference contest.
Goodman (1-0) scattered three hits, allowed a run and walked three in his five innings, while Gardner earned his first Tusculum save as he closed out the game with three strikeouts, while allowing three hits and a pair of runs.
Tusculum outfielder Alexi Colon went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and scored twice, while Sean Cotten added a pair of hits, including a double and a run batted in, giving him 145 RBI for his career, which is just one shy of matching the school record held by former All-South Atlantic Conference slugger George Hanger (146 from 2002-2005).
TC third baseman Matt Henriksen provided the big hit of the afternoon with his two-run homer in the sixth inning to give the Pioneers a 4-1 lead. For Henriksen, it was his third home run in two games as he finished the weekend in Salisbury with seven RBI and a 1.556 slugging percentage.
Garrett Furr was the lone Catawba player to post a multi-hit outing on Sunday as the Indians (1-1) were limited to six hits on the afternoon.
Tusculum (2-0) scored two runs in the first inning as Colon led off with a double down the right field line and later scored on Cotten’s second double in as many games. Cotten would cross the plate himself on Nate Reid’s one-out single.
Catawba cut the deficit in half with a run in the third inning thanks to Brett Underwood’s two-out base hit to make the score 2-1.
It would remain that way until the top of the sixth as Henriksen hit a two-out, two-run homer over the left field wall to push the Pioneers up 4-1. That cushion would not last long as Gardner came aboard to relieve Goodman in the bottom of the frame as the first two hitters reached including Josh Hohn as he homered down the left field line with Furr aboard to bring the Tribe back to within a run (4-3).
But from there, Gardner shut Catawba down as he retired the next nine hitters in a row and Tusculum plated three insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning thanks to a RBI double by Colon and a two-run homer by Rolondo Bonner. Gardner allowed a lead-off single in the bottom of the inning, but induced a double play and a strikeout to close out the game.
In its two games in Salisbury this weekend, the Pioneer hitters rattled off 29 hits, including nine doubles and six home runs, while the Tusculum pitching staff posted a 3.00 earned run average.