February 23, 2014

Notre Dame offense explodes in sweep of King

BRSITOL, Tenn. – Coming off a sweep on Saturday, the King University baseball team looked to keep the momentum rolling on Sunday against Notre Dame College (Ohio). The Tornado jumped ahead early in game one, but the Falcons came storming back to take the first game 9-3. Notre Dame didn't let up in the second game as they grabbed an early lead en route to another 9-3 win and the doubleheader sweep.

After Reiss Stanley worked a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Tom Hooker started the bottom of the frame with a walk. He advanced to second on balk before stealing third. Hooker later scored when J.D. Wallace tried to steal second, but was thrown out as King took a 1-0 lead after one inning.

Notre Dame (2-2) had their leadoff hitter reach on an error in the second inning, but Stanley picked him off around a pair of strikeouts to keep the Tornado (3-11-1) in the lead. The senior worked around a couple of hits in the third inning to the Falcons off the board, but the Notre Dame offense awoke in the fourth inning.

With runners on second and third, Andrew Hurd ripped a double down the left field line to give Notre Dame the lead. Later in the inning, Bryan Blondeaux crushed a three-run home run down the left field line to stretch the Falcon lead to 5-1. Notre Dame added four more runs in the fifth, the first two on a double to left center by Brennan Singleton and another on a Hurd double. Jared Clovis capped the inning with sacrifice fly to give the Falcons a commanding 9-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Cody Rogers started a rally with a walk before he stole second. He scored on a Garrett Cook two-out single to left field to cut into the deficit. The Tornado added another run on a Tyler Gaby double in the eighth inning, but it wasn't enough as Notre Dame took the game 9-3.

Cook, Geoff Cieslewitz and Gaby registered a hit apiece to lead the Tornado.

Notre Dame didn't waste any time getting on the board in the night cap as they plated three runs in each of the first two innings. The Falcons got a bases loaded walk to score their first run of the game before Blondeaux capped the first inning scoring with a sacrifice fly. Ryan Sanders ripped a two-run home run in the second inning before back-to-back doubles plated another run to give Notre Dame a 6-0 lead after the top of the second inning.

The Tornado got on the board in the second inning as Cieslewitz led off the frame with a walk, and Joe Ganger followed with a single through the right side. Cieslewitz came in to score on a Justin Trent single through the left side before Ganger scored on an Alex Azeredo groundout to cut the deficit to 6-2 after two innings.

The score remained the same until Cook tried to spark a rally in the fifth inning as he worked a walk and stole second. Tyler Raymond followed with a triple to center field to make the score 6-3 after five innings.

However, the Falcons answered with one run in the sixth and put the lead out of reach with two in the seventh to take the contest 9-3.

Cook paced the King offense, going 2-for-3 and scored one run. Landon Weitekamp tossed four and one-thirds innings in relief and only allowed one run on four hits while striking out two.

King will be in action again on Tuesday when they travel to Tusculum College. First pitch from Greeneville, Tenn., is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.