Stallings homers twice, Pioneers rout Crusaders 18-8 in a slugfest

GREENEVILLE — Cade Stallings went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and six RBI to lead the Tusculum baseball team to an 18-8 win over visiting North Greenville Monday night at Pioneer Park.

 The Pioneers (28-16) established season-highs with 18 runs and 21 hits, including Jalen Shuffler’s 4-for-6 performance and three hits apiece from Heath Comerford and Tripper Crisson.

 Tusculum will now head to Forest City, N.C. later this week as the Pioneers will be the No. 3 seed at the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament. TC will open the six-team, double elimination tournament against No. 4 seed Newberry on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. from McNair Field.

 Tusculum rallied from behind on two separate occasions. After giving up a pair of runs in the second inning TC rallied with three runs in the bottom of the inning, including a two-run double off the bat of Crisson.

 North Greenville (16-27) answered with four scores in the top of the third inning, sparked by a three-run homer off the bat of Allen Staton which hit the scoreboard in left field.

 Trailing 6-3 head to the bottom of the fourth, TC sent eight batters to plate and score five times, including three on Stallings’ home run blast to left field as the Pioneers led for good at 9-6.

 The Pioneers added a run in the fifth, three in the sixth, and a sixrun outburst in the seventh.

 TC senior Blake Burnett (1-0) pitched four shutout innings to earn his first collegiate victory. He didn’t allow a hit, while walking one and striking out three.

 NGU starter Andrew Lawrence (2-6) suffered the loss for the Crusaders.

 Trey Drewery added two hits and a pair of runs, while Vinny Ferrara finished with two hits.

 The Crusaders scattered 10 hits, including a 2-for-3 showing by Wheeler Smith.

Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm