MISENHEIMER, N.C. – In a key Conference Carolinas series, the King University baseball team took a split in Saturday's doubleheader at Pfeiffer University. The Tornado fell 9-5 in game one before taking a 3-2 victory in game two behind a complete game from Cory Rhodes.
The Falcons jumped ahead early in game one with four runs in the second inning. Kevin Price came up with a two-run single while Jacob Yates capped the scoring with an RBI double.
King got a pair of sacrifice flies in each of the fourth and fifth innings to get on the board. A Garrett Cook sacrifice fly drove in Hunter Smith in the fourth, and Tom Hooker scored on a Steven Todoschuk sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Leading 4-2, Pfeiffer broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning. Izzy Perez highlighted the frame with a three-run home run, and the Falcons took an 8-2 lead through five innings.
King tried to comeback as a Tyler Gaby singled to score Hooker in the seventh before Todoschuk laced a two-run home run to pull the Tornado within 8-5.
However, the Falcons tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning before the Tornado mounted a rally in the ninth inning. King loaded the bases with one out, but Jeff Barkley got a strike out and a fly to end the 9-5 Falcon win.
Gaby, Hooker and Carl Roberts paced the Tornado offense with two hits apiece while Todoschuk drove in a team-high three runs. Reiss Stanley got the start on the hill and gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings of work.
In game two, Todoschuk stayed hot, ripping a one-out double to spark the King (26-16, 11-9 CC) offense. Josh Huffman followed with a single to give King the early 1-0 lead. After Gaby singled in the third inning, Todoschuk laced another double to score him and stretch the Tornado advantage to 2-0.
Brad Blanton came up with the big hit of the game in the fourth inning. Garrett Cook started the frame with a walk, and was sacrificed to second before moving to third on a groundout. Blanton registered the two-out single that scored Cook and gave King a 3-0 lead.
Pfeiffer (18-25, 11-7 CC) cut into the deficit with a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning, but that was all Rhodes allowed. He worked around a pair of hits in the fifth inning, before finishing the game with a 1-2-3 seventh inning and giving King the 3-2 win.
Rhodes allowed those two unearned runs on four hits in the seven inning complete game victory. Gaby and Todoschuk lead the King offense with two hits apiece while Blanton registered the game-winning single in the fourth inning.
King goes for the series win tomorrow at Pfeiffer. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.