BURLINGTON, N.C. – With a spot in the Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament championship on the, third seed King University's Reiss Stanley shutdown the top seed, and No. 1 ranked Mount Olive College offense for six innings. The Tornado bats stayed hot as King topped the Trojans 6-4 to move into the title game.
The Tornado looked to take the lead in the second inning when Stephen Mullins led off the inning with a double. However, he was stranded there, keeping the game scoreless through two innings.
Jose Sola picked up where he left off last night, igniting the King offense with his second home run in as many days to leadoff the third inning. After Tyler Gaby walked, Steven Todoschuk kept pace with Sola when he ripped an opposite field home run to stretch the Tornado lead to 3-0.
In the fifth inning, King (31-18) tacked onto the lead as Carl Roberts came up to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. The junior rolled a ball through the right side that plated Tyler Gaby and Josh Huffman to give the Tornado a 5-0 lead.
The nation's top team finally got on the board in the sixth inning as the Trojans (45-5) started the inning with back-to-back singles. Following an out, Jermaine Berry drove in Mount Olive's first run with a fielder's choice. King starter Stanley worked his way out of the inning as he stranded runners on first and second to keep the Tornado in the lead, 5-1.
Stanley kept the Trojans off balance in six innings of work. The junior only allowed two hits through five innings before Mount Olive broke through in the sixth. He allowed just the one run on four hits and struck out three against one of the top hitting teams in the country.
King threatened to score in the seventh after leadoff double by Todoschuk, but couldn't push him across. In the eighth, Sola reached on a two-out error, and Tom Hooker followed with a single to plate him and stretch the lead to 6-1.
The Mount Olive offense came alive again in the eighth as they plated one and had the bases loaded with only one out. On the seventh pitch of the at bat, Alex Martin induced a groundball back to the mound. Martin came home for one, and Josh Huffman completed the double play to first base to get out of the inning as the Tornado took a 6-2 lead to the ninth inning.
The Trojans made things interesting in the ninth inning as Bradon Reitano hit a two-run home to pull Mount Olive within two. However, Martin induced the next batter to groundout to shortstop, giving King the 6-4 win and moving the Tornado into the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship game tomorrow.
Todoschuk and Mullins led the Tornado with two hits apiece, with both of Mullins' being doubles. Todoschuk and Roberts both drove in two runs while Gaby and Sola score two runs each.
The win snaps Mount Olive's 23-game winning streak, and the Trojan's last three losses have come to the Tornado. King will play for the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., in Burlington, N.C. King will only have to win one game to take the title, while their opponent will have to win twice.