Opening round win for Tornado at NCCAA Mid-East
With the opening-round win King, the No. 3 seed, moves into the 4 p.m. contest Wednesday against Bluefield (Va.) College, the 2009 NCCAA Division I National champion and 2010 runner-up. Earlier in the day Bluefield, the event's No. 5 seed, defeated No. 2 seed Oakland City (Ind.) University 1-0. Top-seeded Asbury (Ky.) University started the tournament with an 8-2 win over Covenant (Ga.) College.
After Tuesday's games, Wednesday starts with a 10 a.m. contest between Oakland City and Covenant in an elimination game. At 1 p.m. Asbury plays Mid-Continent before King and Bluefield face off at 4 p.m.
Cory Rhodes (Kissimmee, Fla.) started the game without allowing a hit until the fourth, an infield single. Before that he walked a batter in the first and a Cougar reached on an error in the second. He needed 97 pitches for the complete-game shutout. Rhodes finished with three hits allowed, two walks and a strikeout as he faced 26 batters in the seven innings. For Rhodes it was the third complete-game shutout of the season as his record improved to 7-5.
King, now at 23-22 on the season, struck first with a pair of second-inning scores. Doug Freeman (Lakeland, Fla.) started things with a walk. Courtesy runner Caleb Correll (Cincinnati, Ohio) was able to come around on Bryant Walker's (Knoxville, Tenn.) triple to right center. Garrett Cook (Luray, Va.) followed with a sacrifice fly to center to put the Tornado up 2-0.
Cody Snyder (Bluff City, Tenn.) led off the third with a triple to left. After an error on C.J. Stabler's (Kingsport, Tenn.) groundball to third put runners on the corner, Steven Mueller (Mt. Washington, Ky.) laid down a squeeze bunt down the first-base line for a RBI.
Snyder's triple was the third for King in the contest, a season high. The previous season high for triples in a game was two against Concord (W.Va.) University.
In the top of the fifth King added an insurance score when Mueller reached on an error by the shortstop. Freeman used a two-out double off the left field fence for the RBI to push the score to 4-0.
Nathan Lawrence had Mid-Continent's fourth-inning hit. Sam Cheng went opposite field for a single to right in the fifth.
King was able to get the lead off hitter on base in the first six innings, but the Tornado left seven runners on, five were standing at third.
For the game Snyder and Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) both had two hits.
Tomas Rodriguez suffered the defeat on the mound for the Cougars with six innings of work and three earned runs on seven hits.