February 12, 2011

King Baseball splits first home doubleheader of 2011

BRISTOL, Tenn. - The King College baseball team split Saturday's home doubleheader against Tiffin (Ohio) University as the Tornado used a strong outing from Cory Rhodes in 3-0 win before Tiffin answered with a 5-1 decision in game two.

Rhodes (Kissimmee, Fla.) went the distance in the shutout and scattered three hits. He retired the first 13 batters in order before Cory Hornyak got a single on the left side of the infield. Hornyak was then picked off as Rhodes faced the minimum through the first 5 1/3 innings. He finished with seven strikeouts and no walks as he faced just 23 batters with 100 pitches.

King, now at 2-2 on the season, got two runs in the first inning as C.J. Stabler (Kingsport, Tenn.) produced a sacrifice fly to center before a double by Steven Mueller (Mt. Washington, Ky.) to the fence in left drove in the second run. Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.) scored on Stabler's sac fly after he walked and went to second on Cody Snyder's (Bluff City, Tenn.) single to right. Gaby stole third with Stabler at the plate and Snyder scored from first on Mueller's hit.

In the fourth Bryant Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.) tripled to center to start the inning and Doug Freeman's (Lakeland, Fla.) groundout to short allowed Walker to score King's third run of the contest.

Colin Lowe singled to center in the sixth and Pat Curtin had a double in the seventh for Tiffin's other two hits.

Tiffin's Donnie Smith threw the first 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits. He mixed in four strikeouts and four walks.

The visitors used two first-inning walks in game two to grab the early lead. Hornyak laced a line drive RBI single into left and Carlos Garcia grounded out, but a run scored.

In the next inning Zach McCutcheon led the inning off with a single and eventually scored on a groundout by Anthony Thomas deep in the hole at short. The two first-inning runs were the first allowed by King in an opening inning this season and it was the first time King did not score first in a game.

Hornyak and McCutchenon both finished with two hits apiece.

King answered with a run as Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) doubled into the right-center gap with two outs in the second and Walker scored from second. Walker got on base with a single through the right side to lead off the frame and advanced on Garrett Cook's (Luray, Va.) single.

Tiffin, at 1-1 after Saturday, tacked on two unearned insurance runs in the fifth.

Zach Winkle (Knoxville, Tenn.) went four innings in the second game. He was hit for three runs on four hits with two strikeouts.

Heath Williams (Bristol, Va.) contributed a hit for King giving the team four in game two.

Curtin was the winning pitcher for Tiffin going five innings with three hits and the one run.

The series concludes Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest.