MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – In search of their first win of the season, the King University baseball team jumped on No. 32 Georgia College in the first inning and extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning. However, the Bobcats came back to even the score, and eventually take the game 6-5 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to take the series sweep.
Tom Hooker started the game with a walk for the Tornado, and was promptly bunted to second by Garrett Cook. Geoff Cieslewitz followed with a base knock to right field to score Hooker and give King (0-6) the early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the first frame, Tornado starting pitcher Reiss Stanley sat the Bobcats (3-0) down in order with the help of a 6-4-3 double play to keep King in the lead.
The score remained 1-0 until the Tornado offense erupted in the fourth inning. Cieslewitz ripped a leadoff double to left field before Stephen Mullins sacrificed him to third. Hunter Smith then came up and rolled a single through the left side to extend King's lead to 2-0. Joe Ganger followed with a two- run home run to left field, his first career blast. He was not to be outdone as the next batter, Justin Trent, crushed a solo home run over the left center field fence, also his first career home run to give King a 5-0 lead.
The Bobcats answered in the bottom of the fourth, however, as they registered back-to-back run scoring doubles to cut their deficit to 5-2 after four innings. Georgia College threatened again in the fifth inning as they loaded the bases and Taylor Hinshaw crushed a long fly ball to center field. However, Cook ran the ball down on the warning track to get the Tornado out of the jam.
Nevertheless, Georgia College broke through again in the sixth inning as Mike McGaw lifted a two-run home run to right center to pull the Bobcats within one. Later in the inning, Clay Ardeeser ripped a single up the middle that scored Seth Bancroft to even the score at five.
The Bobcats had a chance to tally the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as they had a pair of runners on base, but Alex Martin escaped the jam, stranding both runners. King then had two runners on the eight, but couldn't push a run across, and game when to the ninth in tied at five.
The Tornado stranded a two-out single in the top of the inning before Jake Sandlin led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. He advanced to second on a Hinshaw single before King got the first out of the inning. However, McGraw was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Bancroft rolled a single through the right side to score the game-winning run, give Georgia College the 6-5 victory.
Trent went 3-for-3 to pace the Tornado offense while Cieslewitz and Gaby both went 2-for-5.
King returns to the field on Saturday when they travel to Francis Marion University. First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Sunday's series finale is slated to start at 4:00 p.m.