King offense stays hot to defeat Tusculum

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University baseball team continued their hot streak of late on Wednesday when they hosted Tusculum College. The Tornado scored early, and added some insurance runs late to top the Pioneers 9-4.

King (25-15) got on the board early when Hunter Smith ripped a double down the left field line in the first inning to score Steven Todoschuk who doubled earlier in the frame. Carl Roberts followed with a two-RBI single to center field and gave King a 3-0 lead after one. The Tornado tacked on one on a Tyler Gaby double that scored Jose Sola in the second to stretch the lead to four.

After King stretched the lead to 5-0, the Pioneers (25-15) got on the board in the seventh inning. Tusculum got a two-out, two-run single by Joe Polchetti, cutting the deficit to three. The Pioneers then made it a two run game when Taylor Foster was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. However, Alex Martin got a fly out to end the threat and keep King in the lead.

In the eighth inning, and two runners on, Tom Hooker cleared the bases with a triple, and Gaby followed with another triple to extend the King lead. Todoschuk followed with a double to score Gaby, giving the Tornado a commanding 9-3 lead going to the ninth.

Andrew Bowerman hit a leadoff home run in the ninth to make the score 9-4, but Martin closed the game out for his third save of the season. Alex Gonzalez earned the win, pitching two and one-thirds innings in relief, while Reiss Stanley got the start on the bump. Garrett Cook paced the Tornado offense, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Gaby and Todoschuk chipped in with two hits apiece.

King returns to Conference Carolinas play this weekend when they travel to Pfeiffer University. First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.