BRISTOL, Tenn. - The King College baseball team was unable to overcome a big inning by the visitors from West Virginia Wesleyan Saturday in an 11-5 decision.
The visiting Bobcats sent a dozen batters to the plate in an eight-run fourth inning. Gary Williams provided a three-run triple to center while Gene Franks and Mark Darlington both added doubles. In the fourth alone Darlington was 2-for-2. He would finish 4-for-5 and Franks was 3-for-5 with all three hits being doubles.
Going into Saturday's contest King had only allowed 14 runs in the fourth inning of the previous 26 games.
King answered in the bottom of the fourth with five runs including a two-run single from Doug Freeman (Lakeland, Fla.) with two outs. Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) then tripled for the first time in 2011 to cut the lead in half to 8-4 with Freeman's score. Timberlake scored on a passed ball for the fifth run. The first Tornado run of the contest came when Cody Snyder (Bristol, Tenn.) scored on a wild pitch earlier in the inning. Snyder pushed his hitting streak to seven games, the longest active run on the team.
The visitors got two more runs in the sixth. Williams led the inning off with a single before Ryan Lewicki's fly ball to straightaway center fell out of Garrett Cook's (Luray, Va.) glove which led to a three-base error. Lewicki came in for the 10th run on a single by Darlington.
The Bobcats added another run in the eighth.
In all five West Virginia Wesleyan players had multiple hits, the same number of hits King had in the contest.
The win went to Nathan Gainer with 5 1/3 innings of no-hit relief work. He mixed in six strikeouts and issued a walk. Gainer retired the final 14 batters in order.
West Virginia Wesleyan's Chad Modomo went the first 3 2/3 innings and only allowed one hit and hit a batter before the Tornado rally in the fourth. He finished with five runs, four earned, on five hits, with three strikeouts.
The Tornado's Cory Rhodes (Kissimmee, Fla.) tossed 3 1/3 innings with eight runs on as many hits. He walked four and did not record a strikeout as his record went to 5-3.
C.J. Stabler (Kingsport, Tenn.) reached base twice with a hit and walk as he scored for the Tornado during the fourth.
Saturday's game was the third time an opponent scored 10 or more runs against King this season with all three occurring at home.
King and West Virginia Wesleyan will close out the series with a doubleheader Sunday.