Sunday split for Tornado Baseball

BRISTOL, Tenn. - King College split a Sunday baseball doubleheader with West Virginia Wesleyan to close out the three-game home series. King was a 7-3 winner in the opener before Bobcats posted a 2-1 game-two score.

After the games King went to 17-12 while West Virginia Wesleyan leaves with a 15-7 mark.

King's Alex Martin did not give up a hit in the first game until Levi Bender singled to center in the fifth.

His record improved to 3-0 after the contest thanks to 6 2/3 innings of work. Martin ended up with five hits allowed which led to three runs, two were earned. He kept the Bobcat leadoff hitters off base as only one of the seven reached safely. Martin mixed in four strikeouts with a walk and two hit batters.

A pair of two-out hits gave King a first-inning run and the lead. C.J. Stabler (Kingsport, Tenn.) doubled to the left-center gap and scored on Steven Mueller's (Mt. Washington, Ky.) single back up the middle.

Four straight singles in the second produced another Tornado score. Tyler Gaby (Bluff City, Tenn.) singled up the middle with Brad Blanton (Ashland, Ky.) at third with two down.

West Virginia Wesleyan got on the board with a sacrifice fly in the third from Gary Williams with the bases full of Bobcats. Will Blankenship advanced to third after starting the inning by being hit by a pitch. A throw from Mueller on a sacrifice bunt by Tommy Brunswick was high to third which would have gotten Blankenship out before Williams' RBI out.

Mueller answered in the third when he doubled off the left field fence after Stabler led the frame off with a single to put King in front 3-1. Later on in the inning Mueller scored on a single by Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.).

Doug Freeman (Lakeland, Fla.) laid down a bunt in the fifth in which Stabler scored for the third time in the game. Garrett Cook (Luray, Va.) doubled into the left field corner to add two more runs to the Tornado total.

All nine of King's starters had a hit and the team ended up with 14 total. Mueller was 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Cook, Gaby and Stabler each had two hits.

David Prichard (Hamilton, Ohio) closed out the game for his first save of 2011 as he recorded the final out with a potential tying run on deck.

The Bobcats' Kevin Holdsworth was tagged for four runs in four-plus innings on 10 hits. He struck out six with out allowing a walk. Holdsworth came into the game with an ERA of 1.99 as his record went to 4-2. He did pick two Tornado base runners out during the contest.

Gary Williams had a two RBI hit in the seventh.

Game two saw Adam Lewton doubled to right to drive in Darlington who drew a walk and scored the eventual game winning run. Darlington and Lewton's at bats were both with two outs.

The visitors struck first in the series finale with a RBI double to right center from Mark Darlington in the fourth. Ryan Lewicki singled to start the inning and scored on the play. Lewicki ended up with two of the Bobcats' six hits.

King evened the score when Josh Huffman (Lynchburg, Va.) delivered a RBI single to shallow left in the bottom of the fourth. Stabler was on third at the time of the two-out hit after a walk.

Huffman ended the contest 2-for-3, his second multi-hit game of 2011.

Zach Winkle (Knoxville, Tenn.) suffered the loss in a complete game effort. His two runs allowed came on six hits. He mixed in four strikeouts.

Cy Mozingo went to 5-1 with a complete game as well. He struck out five, the same number of hits allowed.

King travels the short trip to play cross-town foe Virginia Intermont College Monday at 6 p.m. When the two played earlier in the season at King, the Tornado won a 9-2 contest on Feb. 15.