MARS HILL, N.C. – King Baseball put on a flight exhibit at Henderson Field (Mars Hill, N.C.) after belting nine home runs off of the Mars Hill pitching staff in their 20-7 win on Wednesday afternoon. Three Tornado players hit multiple home runs, led by Brandon Reed who hit three in his last four at bats of the day.
Senior Brandon Reed (Seymour, Tenn.) earned his first start of the season and made a huge splash in his last four at bats, recording extra base hits in each of them including three home runs. He compiled five RBI and scored four times in his 4-for-6 performance against the Lions.
Garrett Cook (Luray, Va.) also hit multiple home runs on the day for the Tornado, cranking out a solo and three-run home run in his final two at bats of the day. The sophomore went 2-for-5 with three ribbies and scored three times, including the game's first run after he was hit by a pitch and later scored on a Jarrod Payne (Johnson City, Tenn.) single through the left side.
Continuing the home run parade were catchers Doug Freeman (Lakeland, Fla.) and Derrick Duncan (Christiansburg, Va.). Freeman followed up Brandon Reed's second two-run homer with his first of the season to complete the back-to-back jack attack, at the time extending King's lead to 15-7. Duncan contributed with a three-run bomb in just his second at bat of the season, accounting for the Tornado's final three runs.
Bryant Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the way offensively with a five-hit day from the plate on six appearances, tallying three RBI and four runs scored. Walker recorded all five of his hits in consecutive at bats from the third inning on and also entered the home run derby with a two-run shot to center in the fifth. The senior outfielder also had a run-scoring double in the third inning to add to his three singles.
After Mars Hill held a 3-2 lead after three innings of play, Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) helped take back to the lead with his first home run of the season, a two-run homer to left field that gave them the lead back, 4-3. King then put up a five spot on the Lions behind five hits, three for extra bases, and a Mars Hill throwing error to jump out to a 9-5 lead. The Navy and Scarlett continued with another two-run inning on Brandon Reed's second of three home runs to give the Tornado 11 runs on the board.
King (11-7, 4-2) scored nine more runs in the final three frames and allowed two in the bottom of the ninth en route to a 20-7 win over the Lions. The Tornado scored runs in eight of the nine innings played and the last seven straight. They compiled nine home runs hit by six different players and had 24 hits total as a team, both season highs. It marks their second 20-plus run game of the season after defeating Barton College 22-3 on Feb. 25 in their first Conference Carolinas game in program history.
Daniel Glenn (Pineville, N.C.) earned his first win of the season (1-0) after leading the staff with three scoreless innings pitched and two strikeouts while allowing one hit. Matt Higgins, Nick Melcher, and Danny Laperna all tossed two innings apiece and combined for five strikeouts.
The Tornado continue their current road stint with a three-game series against Mount Olive College on March 10-11. First pitch on Saturday is set for 12:00 p.m. King will end its road trip with a doubleheader with Lincoln Memorial University on March 14 before they being their game back to the King College Baseball Complex on March 17 to host St. Andrews Presbyterian College.