1988 Baseball Team

1988 Baseball Team

The 1988 baseball team repeated as National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national champions, and they join the 1987 team which was inducted into the King Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. The Tornado posted an impressive 43-9 record, racking up a school record 43 wins. Their schedule included a three-game sweep of NCAA Division I foe East Tennessee State University and defeating Boston University 21-2 in the final game of an invitational tournament in Cocoa Beach, Fla. The Tornado were the smallest school in the tournament that featured NCAA Division I and II teams. In eight games in Florida, the Tornado scored 104 run while allowing just 23.

Of their 43 wins, 18 of them came by the 10-run mercy rule. The Tornado scored an impressive 509 runs, averaging 9.8 runs per game during the season, and allowed just 222 runs for an average of 4.3 per game. King finished second in the Volunteer State Athletic Conference (VSAC), and followed that with a fourth place finish at the NAIA District 24 tournament. In the NAIA rankings, the Tornado climbed up to #5 in the nation on April 30. King then went on a run in the NCCAA Tournament winning the regional for the second straight year, and repeating as national champions.

“The 1987 team set a very high standard by winning the NCCAA national championship and being ranked 19th in the NAIA,” head coach Jerry Opp said. “However, the “just win baby,” as a newspaper in Florida dubbed the Tornado, 1988 team clearly lived up to that high standard with a combination, talent and motivation.”