Tornado Make Statement in First Conference Carolinas Contest
BRISTOL, Tenn. – In their first Conference Carolinas game of the program's history, King College ran away a 22-3 win over the Barton College Bulldogs. The Tornado took advantage of seven Bulldogs errors and nine walks while putting together 17 hits as a team.
A majority of the damage was done in the bottom of the second inning when King put up eight runs, all unearned. Tyler Orndorff (Stephenson, Va.) led off reaching base of a throwing error by BC shortstop Chris Rawlings prior to Bulldog starting pitcher Bentley Massey walking four of his next six batters. Massey left the game in a 4-0 hole, but reliever Brandon Warren also had troubles finding the strike zone. Warren walked his first two batters faced to increase the King lead to six runs. Orndorff returned to the plate for a second time in the inning and cleared the bases with a double, finding the deep part of center field. King exited the second inning with a 10-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, three different King hitters tallied RBI hits to add three more to their run total, 13-0. In the fifth inning, Hunter Smith (Bristol, Tenn.) knocked in a pair with a RBI single to left field.
Wesley Houser (Knoxville, Tenn.) was working on a no-hitter through 5.2 innings of work before the Bulldogs broke it and a potential shut out up, plating three runs in the top of the sixth. Before Zac Crumpler singled to break up the no-hit effort, Houser struck out four Bulldog hitters and only allowed one runner into scoring position. Ryan Daughtry plated a pair on a RBI double to left center field on a ball that was just out of the reach of Orndorff for the first opposing runs of the game. Houser finished out the inning and had a 1-2-3 seventh before leaving the game with a 17-3 lead.
Garrett Cook (Luray, Va.) hit his first home run of the season, tallying his second and third RBI of the game on a blast of the left field fence against Jeremy Lucas. Cook's homer was one of three King hit in their last three at bats. In the bottom of the seventh, Stephen Mullins (Bluff City, Tenn.) hit his first home run of his career on a grand slam in a pinch hit effort. Heath Williams (Bristol, Va.) then followed suit with his first homer of the year, going back-to-back with Mullins.
Cook finished the day 3-for-4 with three ribbies and three runs scored. He reached base in four of his five total plate appearances, also reaching on a walk in the second inning. Orndorff scored four times for the Tornado and went 2-for-4 from the plate with four RBI. Four Tornado players registered multiple hits in the contest.
Wesley Houser (2-1) picked up his second win of the season, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out six batters and walked one. Chad Dixon (Central Square, N.Y.) picked up the last two innings of relief, striking out four Bulldogs.
King improves to 6-5 on the season and picks up their first league win in its debut against Conference Carolinas competition. They will play the Bulldogs (4-8, 0-1) on Sunday in an afternoon twin bill beginning at 12:00 p.m. Game one will be a full nine-inning game while game two will be shortened to seven innings.