March 20, 2013

Cook's two home runs lead King to win over Cobras

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University baseball team showed no sign of slowing down after last weekend's series win against No. 1 Mount Olive on Wednesday afternoon. The Tornado scored three runs in the first inning, and six in the first three innings en route to their 10-8 victory over Virginia Intermont College.

Mark Hode started on the hill and tossed a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first to bring King up to bat. The Tornado (18-11) wasted no time getting men on base as Tyler Gaby drew a leadoff walk before Garrett Cook and Geoffrey Cieslewitz both reached on bunt singles to load the bases. Josh Huffman drew a walk to score Gaby get the Tornado on the board. Cook later scored on a ground out and Cieslewitz made the score 3-0 when he scored on a wild pitch.

In the second inning, Virginia Intermont (14-5) plated two runs before the Tornado answered with two of their own to stretch the lead back to three. Brad Blanton started the bottom of inning with a single through the left side and later scored on a Gaby sacrifice fly. Cook then followed Gaby with his first home run of the game to make the score 5-2. Huffman got in on the long ball action in the third inning as he ripped a leadoff home run over the left center field fence to stretch the King lead to four runs.

The Cobras cut into the deficit in the fifth inning, but Gaby sparked the King offense again in the sixth inning with a leadoff walk. Cook followed by blasting his second home run of the game over the left field fence to extend the King lead to five. The Tornado then manufactured another run to take a commanding 10-4 after six innings.

Virginia Intermont tacked on one run in the seventh before making things interesting for King in the ninth inning. Brandon Palmer reached on an error to start the inning, and later came in to score on a wild pitch. Following a run scoring groundout, the Cobras cut the deficit to two when Fabian Placencia scored on a wild pitch. However, Jose Sola was able to get the final out and end the 10-8 King victory.

Hode went four innings for the Tornado while Wes Houser tossed three innings in relief before Sola went the final two innings on the hill. Cook paced the King offense, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and a walk. He also recorded game-highs by driving in three runs, and scoring three times. Cieslewitz, Huffman, Steven Todoschuck and Blanton all recorded two hits in the win while Huffman accounted for two runs batted in.

King will be in action again tomorrow when they travel to Greenville, Tenn., to take on Tusculum. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.