March 9, 2011

Tornado comes close at No. 20 Armstrong Atlantic

SAVANNAH, Ga. - King College battled to the end at No. 20 Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.) University, but the Tornado's baseball squad came up on the short side of a 3-1 decision Wednesday as a part of the Savannah (Ga.) Invitational.

King's record went to 9-6 and the team will play California University of Pennsylvania Thursday at 10 a.m. in Savannah.

Armstrong Atlantic owns a 16-3 record after the contest.

John Roberts hit a single through the left side which allowed Josh Purvis to score from second with two outs in the home half of the third inning to put Armstrong Atlantic up early.

King tied things in the fifth with back-to-back doubles from Steven Mueller (Mt. Washington, Ky.) and Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.) to start the inning. Gaby went onto finish 3-for-4, a season high in hits, while Mueller was 2-for-4.

Armstrong Atlantic answered the next half inning with a squeeze bunt by Michael Price as Purvis scored on the play. Purvis ended up 2-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored.

In the bottom of the seventh Price doubled to right with the bases loaded as Purvis scored again but teammate Chris Zittrouer was thrown out at home by Bryant Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.).

King loaded the bases in the ninth after two were out thanks to three singles, but could not cut into the deficit.

Danny Laperna (Lake Worth, Fla.) went seven innings and was hit for the three runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked four, however only one Pirate that was given a walk eventually scored. Laperna lowered his ERA by 1.2 runs with the outing against the nationally-ranked team.

Armstrong Atlantic's Alex Frederick had two hits from the lead-off spot.

On the mound for the home team Trent Landa went the distance and allowed the one run on four hits. He did not walk a Tornado batter and struck out nine, including two in the final inning.