FLORENCE, S.C. – The second day of the Auddie Brown Classic resulted in a pair of losses for King Baseball. The pitching staff struggled but faced top competition, including the preseason No. 1 Francis Marion Patriots. The Tornado lost 19-8 to Young Harris in game one and followed with a 12-2 loss to the preseason favorites in the nightcap. They finished 1-3 at the weekend tournament, hosted by Francis Marion.
GAME ONE: YOUNG HARRIS 19, KING 8
Bryant Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.) highlighted the Tornado offense with a 4-for-5 effort in the four-hole, scoring twice and recording two RBI. Five and six hitters Hunter Smith (Bristol, Tenn.) and Brad Blanton each had two hits and one RBI.
King jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning behind a RBI double from Walker and run scoring single from Blanton. Young Harris responded with two runs on their next trip to the plate, scoring on a pair of RBI singles to trim the Tornado lead to one. After responding with another pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame to extend their lead back to three runs, both teams exchanged runs in the third to run the score to 6-3 in favor of the Tornado.
The Young Harris offense opened up with12 runs over the next four innings to take a 13-6 advantage. Trey Rogers led the way with five hits and six RBI in eight plate appearances for the Patriots. The outburst by the Patriots guided them to a 19-8 victory. Alex Azeredo (Warwick, R.I.) knocked home a run with a run scoring double to left field followed by Smith scoring on an error on a Shane Timberlake shot to short.
Four King players had two or more hits in the game with the four through six hitters combining for an 8-for-14 show with four runs scored and four RBI.
GAME TWO: KING 2, FRANCIS MARION 12
The first three innings of the game between the Patriots and the Tornado led to a 2-2 draw, but the preseason favorites began to open the doors to victory in the fifth inning with a pair of three-run innings followed by a four-run seventh inning to secure a 12-2 win over King.
The Patriots tallied three runs in the fifth on a RBI single and fielder's choice to extend the FMU lead to 5-2. Francis Marion scored three more runs, all unearned, stemming from a throwing error by Brandon Houser (Kodak, Tenn.) to lead off the sixth. Three walks between Houser and Dustin Pannell (Aiken, S.C.) plus a RBI single lead the trio of runs and a 8-2 lead. A four-run seventh started by the bottom of the Patriots lineup lead to a final 12-2 score.
Cody Snyder (Bluff City, Tenn.) collected his second two-hit performance of the day and his fourth of the season. He is now hitting a team-high .400 at the plate with six RBI, also a team best.
King falls to 1-5 on the season and will prepare itself for a three-game set with Salem International University to open the home slate. They will play the Tigers on Feb. 18 in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m.