April 15, 2011

Tornado Baseball unable to get past NGU

BRISTOL, Tenn. - The King College baseball squad was upended twice at home by the defending NCCAA Division I World Series Champion North Greenville (S.C.) University 4-0 and 6-2 Friday.

North Greenville loaded the bases in the third of game one and pushed in three runs. The first score was John Reinholz when Derek Fulmer's chopper was misplayed by C.J. Stabler (Kingsport, Tenn.) at third. A RBI single followed by David Frazier and Tyler Callicutt provided a sacrifice fly for the third Crusader score.

The visitors got runners to second and third in the seventh, but Cory Rhodes (Kissimmee, Fla.) was able to work out of the jam with a groundout.

The Crusaders struck again when Andrew Lawrence laid down a squeeze bunt in the eighth and Fulmer scored. Fulmer led the inning off with a double.

Rhodes went all nine innings for his third complete game of the season with four runs scored against him, two were earned. Nine hits were allowed with a pair of strike outs and he walked three.

Stabler extended his hitting streak to a season-best six games thanks to a 3-for-4 effort which included a double. The three hits are a season best for the senior in his ninth multi-hit effort of 2011.

Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) and Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.) had King's other two hits.

North Greenville's Drew Provence tossed seven innings of shut out baseball. He struck out seven and King had four hits. Nate Richards threw the final two innings for the Crusaders.

The scoreless game was the first time King had been shut out since April 18, 2009, against Montreat (N.C.) College, a 2-0 score. In between shut outs King played 87 games.

King struck in the first inning of game two when Heath Williams (Bristol, Va.) came home on a wild pitch on ball four to Josh Huffman (Lynchburg, Va.). Fulmer walked four straight batters in the opening frame after a strike out started the contest. Stabler scored on Garrett Cook's (Luray, Va.) groundout to second.

North Greenville took the lead in the fourth thanks to six runs. The Crusaders used four hits, a double, a fielder's choice on a squeeze play, a sacrifice fly and hit batter. In all 10 batters appeared at the plate in the frame.

Cook would be the only Tornado with a hit in game two with his single up the middle with an out in the seventh inning.

Alex Martin (Kingston, Tenn.) lasted four innings as North Greenville scored six runs, two earned, on eight hits. He struck out three, walked one and hit another batter.

Fulmer went the first six innings on the mound for North Greenville without a hit allowed. He struck out eight with five walks and the two runs. Brian Giles came in to record the final three outs after he had two of the Crusaders' nine hits.

Frazier and Callicutt each had two hits. Adam Taylor had two RBIs with a double in the Crusaders' big fourth inning.

King, now at 20-16, and North Greenville will close out the three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m.