BRISTOL, Tenn. – The start of the King University baseball series against the University of Mount Olive may have been pushed back a couple days, but both teams came out ready to play in the first game Sunday's doubleheader. The score was tied a three after nine innings before the Trojans scored four runs in the 10th to take the game 7-3. The Mount Olive offense heated up on the cool day in game two, taking the contest 11-2.
Cody Britt ripped a one-out double in the top of the first, but that was the only hit Mount Olive recorded in the first four innings off of King starting pitcher Reiss Stanley. However, Stanley's counterpart, Kodi Whitley didn't allow a hit until the third inning when the Tornado (12-23-1, 4-7 CC) loaded the bases following a J.D. Wallace double to start the inning. An error and walk loaded the bases with one out, but Whitley got back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.
The Trojans (23-11, 9-2 CC) opened the scoring in the fifth when Justin Manning started the inning with a walk, and Chase Edwards followed with a double to left center. After an out, an infield single gave Mount Olive a 1-0 lead. The Trojans then stretched their lead to 2-0 with an unearned run in the sixth before King answered.
Tyler Gaby drew a leadoff walk before Justin Trent ripped a single to left field. Following a fielder's choice, Geoff Cieslewitz laced a double down the right field line that plated both runners to even the score at 2-2 after six innings.
The teams again traded runs in the seventh inning as Jay Gonzalez ripped a two-out single to score one and give the Trojans a one run advantage. Wallace again sparked a rally in the seventh with a leadoff single up the middle. Landon Weitekamp followed with a bunt single before Wallace advanced to third on a flyout. Trent then ripped a single to center that scored Wallace and evened the tally at three all after seven.
The score remained the same, and the Tornado looked to end the game in the bottom of the ninth when Cody Rogers sparked a two-out rally with a single to center field. He then stole second before Gaby walked and Trent was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tyler Raymond ripped a hot groundball to the shortstop, who made a diving play to his right and threw the runner out on a close play at second base to send the game to the 10th inning.
In the extra frame, the Trojans grabbed the lead on a bases loaded groundout. Raymond then got a foul out, and looked to get out of the jam, but Edwards crushed a three-run home run to center, giving Mount Olive a 7-3 lead going to the bottom of the 10th. King registered a hit in the bottom of the frame, but couldn't push any runs across as the Trojans took the contest.
Stanley went six innings on the hill for King. He allowed two runs, one earned on four hits while striking out six. His counterpart, Whitley tossed six and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out seven. Offensively, Trent and Wallace paced the way with two hits apiece and Cieslewitz drove in a pair.
The Mount Olive offense didn't slow up in game two as DeAndre Allen and Zak Orrison ripped consecutive run scoring doubles in the second inning. A sacrifice fly, and an RBI single made the score 4-0 in favor of the Trojans. The lead swelled to 7-0 following a three-run third inning. Allen highlighted the frame with a two-run single through the right side.
The Tornado got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Gaby ripped his fourth home run of the season to left center. In the fourth inning, Hunter Smith ripped his fourth home run of the season, down the left field line, cutting the King deficit to 7-2 with three innings to play.
Nevertheless, the Trojans added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings before plating two more in the seventh to take the game 11-2.
The three game series concludes on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.