No. 4 Tusculum blows out Brevard
Santana finshes off Tornadoes with second-inning grand slam
FOREST CITY, N.C. -- No. 4 Tusculum broke out the big bats early and rode the strong pitching arm of Taylor Rakes as the Pioneers blanked Brevard in day two action of the South Atlantic Conference Championship.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two innings and never looked back. Cody Coffman had two hits and three RBIs to help pace the Pioneers, while Carlos Santana added a pair of hits, including a grand slam.
Rakes got out of a big jam in the first inning as the first three BC players reached base. But Rakes got out of the jam and with a double-play and a groundout to escape the inning, unscathed.
From there, Tusculum's bats took control. Three walks loaded the bases in the bottom of the first for Coffman, who plated the game's first two runs with a base hit. Matt Henriksen added a RBI on a fielder's choice and a Heath Comerford sacrifice fly capped the scoring to make it 4-0 TC lead.
The Pioneers loaded the bases again in the second before breaking through. Henriksen picked up another RBI on a bases-loaded walk to make it 5-0. Santana then unloaded on a pitch to deep right field for a grand slam and a 9-0 Tusculum lead.
That was more than enough for Rakes, who went eight shutout innings on the mound for the Pioneers. Rakes scattered six hits, walked two and fanned five to earn the victory to improve to 9-1 on the season. For Rakes, it is his sixth consecutive win in as many starts and boasts a 1.91 ERA during that six-game span.
The Pioneers added two runs in the bottom of the seventh and three in the bottom of the eighth for the final margin. John Clarke pitched a perfect ninth with three groundouts to cap the victory.
Of Coffman's two hits included his seventh home run of the season, extending his personal hitting streak to 23 consecutive games.
The Pioneers added eight more base on balls to their Division II leading total of 276, which is a new school single-season record. Alexi Colon added two more to his DII-leading walk tally, giving him 58 on the year, which is already a new school record and two shy of the South Atlantic Conference single-season mark.