BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University baseball team returned home in an attempt to extend their five-game winning streak as they hosted UVa-Wise in a nonconference tilt. It looked as though the Tornado would extend their streak, but the Cavaliers made a late comeback, capped by four runs in the top of the ninth inning to escape with the 12-11 victory.
UVa-Wise (5-10) started the game by plating two runs in the top of the first inning. Bill Steven drove in the first run with a double, and the Cavaliers scored the second run on a Tornado error. At that point, Tornado pitcher Tyler Raymond began to settle in, holding UVa-Wise scoreless for the next four innings.
Alex Azeredo ignited the King offense with a leadoff single in the third inning. Cody Rogers followed with a bunt single, and Tyler Gaby walked to load the bases. Garrett Cook and Raymond registered back-to-back two-run doubles before Justin Trent capped the scoring with an RBI-single to left center. The Tornado (11-17-1) plated five runs on five hits to take the lead in the inning.
The Tornado added to their lead with a single run in the fifth inning before the Cavalier offense woke up again in the top of the sixth inning. Bryan Andrews registered a sacrifice fly, and Jordan Olinger followed with a run scoring double.
However, King answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame as Raymond drove in two runs with a single to left field. After Raymond stole second, Cieslewitz drove him in with a single to left field, giving the Tornado a 9-4 lead after six innings.
The Cavalier offense continued to stay hot as they plated three unearned runs in the seventh and another in the seventh to cut their deficit to 9-8.
The Tornado tried to put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth inning as Raymond sparked the offense with a triple down the right field line. He later scored on a wild pitch before Trent restarted the rally with a single up the middle. Trent then stole second before Carl Roberts drove him in with a double to right field to give King an 11-8 lead.
However, the Cavalier offense wasn't done as they started the ninth inning with a walk and a hit batter before King made a pitching change. A wild pitch moved the runners over, Brandon Houser struck out the next batter before Chaz Tanner scored one run with a single to center field. UVa-Wise added another run on a Tornado error before Houser got a pop out, and looked to get out of the jam. However, Steven Klaiber then rolled a single through the left side to score two and give the Cavaliers a 12-11 lead.
The Tornado were unable to answer in the bottom of the inning as the Cavaliers took the contest 12-11. Raymond led the Tornado on the mound and at the plate. He tossed six innings, allowing four runs, two earned while scattering nine hits. Offensively he went 3-for-6 with three runs scored, and drove in four runs. Cieslewitz also went 3-for-6 while Rogers went 3-for-4.
King has a quick turnaround as they host cross-town rival Virginia Intermont on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.