BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University baseball team returned to Conference Carolinas play, and trailed Erskine College for most of the game. However, the Tornado took their first lead of the game with three runs in the seventh, and Alex Martin closed down the 6-3 victory.
The Flying Fleet (18-15, 6-9 CC) jumped ahead on a two-out two-run home run down the left field line by Logan Galliher in the first inning. King answered with a run in the bottom half of the frame, on a Geoffrey Cieslewitz single up the middle that scored Garrett Cook, who reached on a bunt single earlier in the inning.
However, Erskine answered with a tally in the top of the fifth to regain the lead.
Josh Huffman then led off the King sixth with a double off the base of the wall in left field. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Carl Roberts drove him in with a single to center field to tie the game again.
The Tornado offense exploded behind Huffman in the seventh inning. Huffman came up with the bases load, and ripped another double, this one to right center field. Cook and Tom Hooker scored to give King (19-12, 7-6 CC) their first lead of the game. Hunter Smith followed with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to push the lead to 6-3.
That was all relief pitcher Martin needed, as he only allowed one base runner in the final two innings to earn his second save of the season. Reiss Stanley got the start on the hill and struck out six in seven innings of work. Stanley only allowed three hits, and four base runners on the afternoon.
King outhit Erskine 12-4, and the Tornado were led by Huffman and Hooker who recorded three hits apiece. Huffman also drove in two, and scored one run.
The Tornado will face Erskine again tomorrow on the campus of King University. First pitch for the doubleheader is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.