BRISTOL, Tenn. – Reiss Stanley and Limestone College's Josh White had a true pitcher's duel through eight innings before each team swapped runs in the ninth. The Saints pulled away with a 5-3 victory in game one of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader, but rains suspended play midway through game two. Play will resume on Sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Limestone opened up the game with two runs against King starter Reiss Stanley (Lenoir City, Tenn.) on a trio of extra base hits. Chad Bladerman hit a two-out, solo home run prior to Josh Lyon and Al Benson spotting up for back-to-back doubles, leading to a 2-0 start for the Saints.
King (19-13, 8-8) got one run back in the bottom of the first when Garrett Cook reached on an error by Limestone second baseman KJ McAllister that put him on second. Cody Snyder moved Cook over to third where he scored on Josh Huffman's sacrifice fly to left, making the score 2-1.
The Tornado offense struggled for much of the middle innings when they left the bases loaded in the second inning and went 1-2-3 in each of the next five innings as a result of strong pitching from hurler Josh White. White struck out five Tornado hitters through his first six innings of work and kept King to only five hits in the game.
Limestone made one final offensive splurge in the top of the ninth against Stanley before he was lifted with one down in the final frame. After allowing the first two batters on base and loading them two batters later, Michael Hughey drove home two runs with a two RBI single to put Limestone up 5-1. Dustin Pannell entered the game in relief and retired the side.
King led off the inning with back-to-back singles by Garrett Cook and Cody Snyder that were followed up by consecutive errors by shortstop Michael Hughey allowed two runs to score, but reliever Andrew Thompson turned in the final out for his first save of the season and to close out the win for Limestone.
Five different Tornado hitters finished with one hit to fill out the King offense. Stanley (4-3) took the loss after tossing 8.1 innings and allowing five runs on 11 hits, while striking out five.
Game two was suspended in the top of the fourth inning due to rain and lightning in the area. Cory Rhodes started on the hill for King and did not allow a hit while striking out four through three innings of work. The game will resume at the point of stoppage.
King will finish the seven inning game beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, followed by the series finale against the Saints at the KC Baseball Complex.