MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The efforts of Reiss Stanley, Doug Freeman, and Wesley Houser combined for a signature win over No. 28 Mount Olive College in game one of their doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Game two was not as kind after the Trojans pounded out a dozen runs in a split in the action.
GAME ONE: King 10, Mount Olive 4
The King offense roughed up the Trojan pitching staff in game one for 10 runs on 15 hits, exploding for six runs in the ninth inning to create their final breakaway. King took a 10-4 win from the No. 28 Trojans behind a solid offensive effort and a trio of solid pitching performances.
King put together a one-out rally and scored five straight runs on four hits and three walks. Cody Snyder (Bluff City, Tenn.) and pinch hitter Brandon Reed (Seymour, Tenn.) each hit singles to begin the rally while up 4-3. Two wild pitches by Josh Frederick allowed one run to score before he was lifted for Justin Weaver.
Weaver's accuracy strugged after he walked both batters he faced to load the bases for Danny Laperna (Lake Worth, Fla.). Laperna drew a walk, scoring Reed, off new reliever Chris Hinton to increase the King lead to three. With two outs, Bristol, Tenn., native Tyler Gaby drilled a base-clearing double to left center to put King up 9-3. Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) capped off the frame with a single to left and pushing the lead to seven runs before getting out of the top of the ninth.
Reiss Stanley (Lenoir City, Tenn.) pitched five inning in a no decision, but allowed only three runs in his time on the mound. Doug Freeman (Lakeland, Fla.) tossed one inning of relief, keeping the score tied at three before the Tornado brought in Wesley Houser (Knoxville, Tenn.) to finish the game's final three inning off. The junior allowed one run on two hits to give King the 10-4 win and earn his third win of the season.
Top performances in game one include Snyder's three-hit game. The sophomore went 3-for-5 and scored twice. Three additional Tornado players recorded multiple hits including Hunter Smith, Brad Blanton, and Shane Timberlake.
Mount Olive starting pitcher Jake Moser (4-1) struck out nine in 7.1 innings of work, allowing four runs (three earned) in his first loss of the season.
GAME TWO: King 2, Mount Olive 12
The King bats did not replicate their performance from game one while the Trojans' came alive in a 12-2 win to complete the split on Saturday. Seven on Mount Olive's nine starters had multiple hits, led by Jacob Rogers who went 2-for-3 with three runs and four RBI.
Mount Olive (12-6, 5-2) jumped on King starter Cory Rhoades early, posting six runs over their first two at bats. Rogers highlighted the opening frame with a two-run home run to left center, following Antonio Callaway's double to the left center gap. Jermaine Berry added two more on a two-RBI single up the middle in the second, giving MOC a 6-0 lead early.
Hunter Smith (Bristol, Tenn.) cut into the lead with a two-run double down the left field line, but the offense stopped their in the teams' seven-inning affair. The Tornado mustered only four hits in the second game of the twinbill.
The Trojans put six more runs on the board between the fourth and sixth innings. Rhoades allowed three more in the fourth before giving way to Matt Higgins and Josh Czajkowski. The duo surrendered three runs over the last two innings of work.
King (12-8, 5-3) and Mount Olive will conclude the series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST from Scarborough Field (Mount Olive, N.C.).