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Wade Cuda
Wade Cuda was one of two Bears named to the first team all-conference.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Edges Out Tusculum

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team captured their first series victory over Tusculum since 2015, with a 5-4 victory on Monday.

After the wet weekend caused the series to scatter over a three-day span, the Bears were able to take the stand-alone contest on a beautiful afternoon thanks to a historic performance from Joshua Lanham.

The redshirt junior became the program all-time career strikeout leader, passing Chris Henderson with his 288th strikeout in the seventh inning against Tusculum’s Tyler Ranel.

The Augusta, Ga. native also picked up his first winning decision since March 10 with his best outing of the season; recording six strikeouts while allowing only one hit and one unearned run in seven innings pitched.

Although the Bears were in control for most of the contest, the Pioneers made the game interesting in the ninth inning with a Chris Ortega three-run home run to pull themselves within one.

Fortunately for LR, Spencer Floyd closed the door on the Pioneers with back-to-back outs to earn the save.

Wade Cuda blasted his ninth home run of the season in the second inning; the two-run home run moves the redshirt senior into a tie for fifth-place with William Combs for 28 career home runs. In addition to becoming the all-time strikeout leader, Lanham also moved into a tie for second place with David Porter and Israel Campbell with 23 career wins.

Tyler McPeak had another multi-hit game against the Pioneers with a 2-for-4 afternoon; the graduate student had a 7-for-13 weekend with three doubles, three runs and three RBIs. Spencer Floyd picked up his first save since he closed the books on then No. 9 ranked Illinois-Springfield back on Feb. 11 in a 4-2 victory.

Despite the more favorable field conditions on Monday, both teams had a tough afternoon with each side committing two errors. Despite dropping the three-game set, Tusculum still leads the all-time series with a 49-32 record.

With the series victory, LR has now won three-straight SAC series for the first time in 2023. By taking back-to-back victories, it is the first time LR won two consecutive games in the same series since Feb. 14, 2015.

After taking 2 of the 3 games at home, LR now holds a winning record over Tusculum in Hickory, N.C. with a 20-19 mark. It is LR’s first conference victory on a Monday since April 12, 2021, when the Bears defeated Limestone, 9-4.

The Bears are 32-9 overall, 14-4 in the South Atlantic Conference. Lenoir-Rhyne will close their five-game home stretch with a non-conference battle against Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday, April 11. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at Durham Field.