BRISTOL, Tenn. – Behind a dozen hits on the offensive end and a solid pitching performance from four different arms, the King Tornado baseball team earned a decisive win in their home opener. King defeated Salem International University 12-2 on Friday afternoon.
Reiss Stanley (Lenoir City, Tenn.) earned his first win of the season tossing five innings against the Tigers. The sophomore allowed two runs, both unearned, on three hits. Stanley struck out five batters, including three in the first inning to get out of a jam. He tallied two more strikeouts in the second and third innings and retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced before entering the fifth inning, where he lost the shutout after his own throwing error led to two runs in the frame.
By the time Stanley ended his run, the Tornado had built a 6-2 lead through the first half of the game. King got on the board in the first when Cory Snyder (Bluff City, Tenn.) reached on a single, his first of two hits on the day, stole second base, then advanced to third on a sacrifice fly. With two down, SIU catcher Charles Rymers allowed a passed ball leading to Snyder scoring.
King tabbed four more runs the following inning on a Bryant Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.) single, scoring Garrett Cook from third after he swiped a pair of bags in the process. The Tornado scored their next two runs on a pair of Tiger errors before Tyler Orndorff (Stephenson, Va.) blasted a RBI double to help King to a 5-0 lead.
Josh Huffman (Lynchburg, Va.) recorded one of his four RBI on the day in the bottom of the fifth on a run scoring double, plating Carl Roberts before he cut down at third attempting to advance on the throw. The following inning, his team put two runners on board when he sent a deep shot over the fences of the ballpark as a part of a five-run, sixth inning. With an 11-2 score, the game was handed over to the King bullpen to close the deal.
Matt Higgins, Brandon Houser, Danny Laperna combined for four scoreless innings of relief against the Tigers. Higgins tossed two innings and struck out a pair of hitters while Houser and Laperna each threw an inning a piece.
Three King players had multi-hit games including Snyder, Huffman, and Jared Payne (Johnson City, Tenn.). Carl Roberts (Blountville, Tenn.) went 1-for-1, officially, with a pair of runs scored and two RBI. Payne went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
King and Salem International will return to the King College Baseball Complex on Saturday for a twin bill, set to begin at 12 noon, to complete the three-game series.