NEWBERRY, S.C. – The King University baseball team tried to rebound from yesterday's doubleheader sweep at Newberry College as they took the Wolves in game three of the season-opening series. The Tornado grabbed the early lead again, but the Wolves came back and took the game 9-3 for the series sweep.
Just as the Tornado (0-3) did in each of the first two games of the series, they jumped ahead early in game three. Tyler Gaby reached on an error to start the game, and Stephen Mullins followed with a single to left field. After a double play, Hunter Smith crushed his first home run of the season, a shot to left field to give King a 2-0 lead after one inning. The Tornado threatened with a pair of runners in the second, but couldn't push across any runs.
Newberry (3-0) put together a rally in the third inning, started by an Alex Kirby bunt single. Following a pair of outs, a single and a walk loaded the bases for Causey Stanland. He ripped a single up the middle that scored one, but Gaby threw out the tying run at the plate to end the inning and keep King ahead 2-1.
The Newberry offense stayed hot in the fourth inning as Chas Goodwin started the frame with a single to left field. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk, Kirby dropped down another bunt single to load the bases. Jermale Paige then rolled a groundball to first base allowing one run to score, and a throwing error allowed a second run to cross the plate. A balk pushed across the Wolves' third run of the frame to give Newberry a 4-2 lead after four innings.
Mullins tried to spark a two-out rally in the fifth inning with a single to center, and Garrett Cook followed with a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. However, Wesley Camp, the Newberry pitcher, got a strikeout to escape the jam. The Wolves broke the game open with four unearned runs in the sixth inning to take an 8-2 lead.
Gaby started a two-out rally in the seventh with a single down the right field line, and Mullins followed with a single down the same line to put two runners on. Cook ripped King's third straight single to score Gaby and cut the Tornado deficit to 8-3.
Nevertheless, Newberry tacked on a run in the eighth inning to make the final score 9-3, giving the Wolves the sweep.
Alexander Gonzalez got the start on the mound for King and tossed five and two-thirds innings. He allowed eight runs, only two earned and struck out five. Mullins led the Tornado offense, going 4-for-5 while Cook went 2-for-5 and drove in one run. Smith drove in two runs with his first home run of the season.
The Tornado will try to rebound next weekend when they travel to take on Georgia College. First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in Milledgeville, Ga. Sunday's series finale is slated to start at 1:00 p.m.