March 10, 2014

King offense explodes in win over Mars Hill

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Playing for the second time in a week, the King University baseball team jumped on Mars Hill University early and often in the nonconference tilt. The Tornado scored in each of the first six innings, including a three-spot in the first inning en route to the 14-4 victory.

Alexander Gonzalez got the start on the hill, and turned in a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, bringing the Tornado (7-16-1) up to bat. Tyler Gaby started the frame with a double down the right field line, and Stephen Mullins followed with a single through the left side. Gaby scored when Mullins stole second before Tyler Raymond drove in Mullins with a double to left center. Garrett Cook that ripped a sacrifice fly to left center that scored J.D. Wallace to put King up 3-0.

The teams traded runs in the second inning, and King tallied a run on a Moises Soto single that scored Preston Douglas in the bottom of the third inning. Mars Hill (9-14) plated two runs in the fourth inning to cut their deficit to 5-3 before the King offense exploded.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Tornado plated six runs, two on a Soto single to right field, Ganger drove in one on an infield single and Wallace ripped a sacrifice fly to score one. In the inning, King scored six runs on six hits, but left the bases loaded, taking a 11-3 lead.

The Tornado added a run on a Cook groundout in the fifth before the Lions hit a home run in the top of the sixth. Ganger drove in two more on a single up the middle to give King a commanding 14-4 advantage after six innings.

Gonzalez tossed six innings and allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out five. Jake Portugal allowed one hit in two innings of relief, and Logan Hess worked a 1-2-3 ninth to give King the 14-4- victory.

Gaby went 3-for-4 with three runs scored from the leadoff spot while Ganger and Soto both registered two hits drove in three runs apiece. Raymond went 4-for-5 with two runs scored, and drove on in while Douglas, Landon Weitekamp and Cody Rogers all recorded two hits each.

King will be in action again on Tuesday when they travel to UVa-Wise. First pitch from Wise, Va., is slated for 2:00 p.m.