Offense leads King to sweep at North Greenville

TIGERVILLE, - S.C.- Following their game one win on Friday afternoon, the King University offense erupted in their sweep of North Greenville University on Saturday. The Tornado scored early and late to take game one of the doubleheader 12-3 before taking the three-game sweep with a 15-4 win in the nightcap.

Stephen Mullins sparked the Tornado offense with a single in the first inning of game one. He moved to second on a groundout, and scored on a Tyler Raymond two-out single up the middle. Garrett Cook followed with a home run, giving King a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.

The Crusaders (4-18, 1-5 CC) plated a two out run in the bottom of the first to get on the board. North Greenville scored single runs in both the third and fourth innings to even the score at 3-3 before King (11-16-1, 3-3 CC) grabbed the lead for good. The Tornado scored four runs in the fifth, three coming on another Cook home run, giving King a 7-3 lead.

At that point, King starting pitcher Cory Rhodes settled in as he retired 10 straight batters, a stretch that started in the fourth and ended in the top of the seventh inning with two outs. The Crusaders loaded the bases in the final frame, but Rhodes earned his second win of the season, getting a groundout to end the game.

The offense didn't quit during that stretch either, tacking on a run in the sixth, and four more in the seventh. Tyler Gaby highlighted the seventh inning with a two-out, two-run double to center to give King the 12-3 victory.

Rhodes finished with the complete game victory on 95 pitches. He scatted eight hits, allowing three runs and striking out five. Cook paced the offense, going 2-for-3, scoring three runs and driving in five. Gaby wasn't far behind from the leadoff spot however, as he went 3-for-5 and drove in three while scoring once. Raymond also collected three hits, going 3-for-4 and scoring three times.

The Tornado offense didn't slow down in game two as Cook sparked King with a leadoff single in the second inning. Geoff Cieslewitz reached on an error and with those two runners on second and third, Moises Soto ripped a two-run double to center to give King the lead. Following a sacrifice bunt, Gaby crushed a double to score Soto and give King the early 3-0 lead.

The Crusaders plated one in the second before the Tornado offense really erupted in the third, scoring five runs on four hits. Cieslewitz and Alex Azeredo both registered two- RBI singles while Cook scored the other run on double steal to stretch the Tornado lead to 8-1 after three innings. King added another run in the fourth on a Justin Trent squeeze bunt that scored Raymond.

North Greenville scored two runs in the fifth, but Tornado starting pitcher Alexander Gonzalez got a groundout to strand runners on the corners and escape further damage. However, King got both of those runs back in the top of the sixth to stretch their lead back to 11-3 after six innings.

The Crusaders added on in the seventh before the Tornado capped their 15-4 victory with three runs in the eighth. Cody Rogers had a run scoring single, and Gaby drove in a pair with a double to center

Four Tornado hitters drove in two runs, led by Gaby who went 2-for-5 and drove in three runs. Cieslewitz, Soto and Azeredo also drove in a pair. Raymond went 3-for-6, and scored three runs while Cook also scored three times.

Gonzalez got the win for King as he threw six innings and scattered eight hits. He only allowed three runs, one earned while striking out seven in his third win of the season. Eric Stapleton tossed the final three innings and got the save, allowing one run on three hits.

King will be in action again on Tuesday when they host UVa-Wise. First pitch from the King campus is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.