Tornado Starters Rule the Rubber Against Limestone
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Cory Rhodes picked up where he left off on Saturday while Wesley Houser went the whole nine as King College defeated Limestone twice on Sunday afternoon. The Tornado and Saints resumed their game that was suspended on Saturday and King kept Limestone scoreless through the remainder of their seven-inning affair followed by Houser's complete-game gem.
GAME ONE: Limestone 0, King 3 (F/7, continued from Saturday)
Play resumed from Saturday game in the top of the fourth inning with a 0-0 score and Cory Rhodes (Kissimmee, Fla.) returned to the mound to finish what he had started the day before. After striking out four on Saturday through three innings, Rhodes struck out five more through the remaining four innings in the game. The lefty escaped the fourth and sixth innings with the help from his defense via a pair of double plays turned and ended each inning by striking out the final batter and leaving runners on base.
The offense, led by Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.), put up three runs in their first two at bats on Sunday to support Rhodes' effort. In both the fourth and fifth innings, Gaby singled and later scored in the inning. In the fourth, Gaby was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Bryant Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.) to take a 1-0 led.
As part of a two-run fifth, Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) led the inning off with a triple to the left center field gap and scored on a fly out by Garrett Cook. With two outs, Gaby posted an infield single and stole second base. He scored for a second time on Hunter Smith's RBI double that painted the left field line.
Rhodes (5-2) took care of the rest, tossing his fourth complete game of the season and earning his fifth win of the season. The sophomore struck out 10 total batters over the seven innings he worked, allowing zero runs on six hits. He went 1-2-3 in the seventh, striking out two final hitters to close the game.
GAME TWO: Limestone 1, King 2 (F/9)
Continuing King's domination of the mound, Wesley Houser (Knoxville, Tenn.) tossed the team's second complete game of the day in a 2-1 win over the Saints, winning the series.
Houser (5-3) sat the Saints down in order three times over nine innings and stranded seven Limestone runners, four in scoring position, in the win. The junior struck out three and walked one while allowing six hits and a run.
Up two runs heading into the final fame, Limestone made a late run at a comeback and put the tying run on third base before Houser closed the door on the Saints. Cooper Gunter recorded an infield single to the right side and was driven in by Al Benson with a two-out triple to left center. After a short meeting on the mound, Houser was allowed to finish what he had started and forced Julian Bridges to fly out, ending the game at 2-1.
Stephen Mullins (Bluff City, Tenn.) and Garrett Cook (Luray, Va.) accounted for both of King's runs. Mullins led off the fifth inning with a double to left field and stole third. Bryant Walker flied to right field where Mullins bluffed his move to tag up. Right fielder Josh Lyon launched his throw well over the catcher's head. Upon first sight over the overthrow, Mullins bolted for the plate and scored.
In the following inning, Cook led off the sixth inning with a solo home run to left field. It was the sophomore team-leading seventh home run of the season.
The Tornado are set to continue their current eight-game homestand against Lincoln Memorial University on Tuesday, April 3, at 3:00 p.m.