Series finale goes to NGU, 6-5
BRISTOL, Tenn. - Three runs in the final two innings doomed the King College baseball team Saturday against North Greenville (S.C.) University in the series finale with a final score of 6-5.
North Greenville, the defending NCCAA Division I World Series champion, took the lead for good after a sacrifice fly from David Frazier as Adam Taylor scored. Earlier in the frame Anthony Foulk hit a solo home run to start the ninth.
John Reinholz cut the margin in half with his home solo home run with two down in the eighth.
With two outs in the King half of the sixth a ground ball by Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.) to short resulted in a force out of Charlie Fields (Sevierville, Tenn.) at second, but Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) was on second when the play started and never slowed down coming around third to score the game-tying run. Timberlake made the play close as Frazier threw home. Cody Snyder (Bluff City, Tenn.) followed with a single to right and Gaby scored to make the score 4-3. Gaby stole second before the single.
Nick Melcher (Orlando, Fla.) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the Crusaders' seventh with a strikeout and fly out. He completed three innings and gave up a pair of runs on seven hits.
In King's portion of the seventh C.J. Stabler (Kingsport, Tenn.) led things off with a single to left and then moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Huffman. Freeman got his first hit of the day with a sharp single to center in which Stabler scored an insurance run.
King answered North Greenville's first inning run with two in the bottom half of the frame with a two-out rally. Stabler doubled to deep center and Josh Huffman (Lynchburg, Va.) followed with a RBI double to left center. For Stabler it was his team-high 11th double and the fifth for Huffman. Doug Freeman (Lakeland, Fla.) walked and on ball four Sean Willingham's pitch was wild allowing Huffman to move up 90 feet. Steven Mueller (Mt. Washington, Ky.) singled through the left side for the go-ahead score.
Stabler finished the game 3-for-4.
North Greenville's first score came on a double by Derek Fulmer into the left field corner which was misplayed by Gaby. On the play Taylor scored from first.
King moved Timberlake to third in the second, but could not get a third run home at that point. The Tornado loaded the bases in the fourth and once again could not score.
The Crusaders used Fulmer's double in the third to push across two runs to retake the lead 3-2.
Timberlake and Snyder both had two-hit games for the Tornado.
Dustin Pannell (Aiken, S.C.) suffered the defeat with an inning of work and a run on one hit.
North Greenville's Brian Giles recorded the final five outs for the win on the mound.
Foulk, Taylor and Fulmer all had three-hit days for the Crusaders.
King, now at 20-17, goes to North Greenville for a 3 p.m. contest Tuesday.