ASHEBORO, N.C. – The King University baseball team posted an incredible comeback victory over #20 Belmont Abbey College Saturday in the Conference Carolinas baseball tournament. After falling behind 11-4 early in the contest, the Tornado stormed back to defeat the Crusaders 16-14.
FINAL SCORE: King 16, Belmont Abbey 14
LOCATION: McCrary Park; Asheboro, N.C.
RECORDS: King 29-17; Belmont Abbey 37-11
TIME OF GAME: 4:01
King Starting Lineup
1. Tyler Bailey – SS
2. Mark Michael – 3B
3. Kevin Barbato – LF
4. Bubba Ruiz – C
5. Ashton King – DH
6. J.P. Castaneda – 2B
7. Tony Valdes – CF
8. Austin Meyer – RF
9. Hunter Barbour – 1B
Starting Pitcher: RHP – Grant Boyd
Belmont Abbey Starting Lineup
1. Matt McGarry – 2B
2. Nick Beinlich – CF
3. Colin Rosenbaum – SS
4. Luke Cureton – LF
5. Thomas Yoder – C
6. Josh Genthe – 3B
7. Kevin Elefante – DH
8. Jakob Rolly – 1B
9. AJ Hendricks – RF
Starting Pitcher: RHP – Griffin Baker
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Belmont Abbey struck first in the contest as they posted three first inning runs and one run in the second inning to take an early 4-0 lead over the Tornado.
- However, King ripped a leadoff home run to right center field to get the Tornado on the board and cut the Crusader lead to 4-1.
- Belmont Abbey scored two more runs in the top of the third inning, however, King responded by scoring three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. The Tornado runs were posted when Ruiz ripped a three run shot to left field to post King's second home run of the contest.
- The flood gates opened up for Belmont Abbey in the top of the fourth inning as they posted five runs to take an 11-4 lead over King.
- However, the Tornado bats also came alive in the fourth inning as King posted six runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Crusader lead to 11-10. The huge Tornado inning was highlighted by a Barbato grand slam to right center field.
- The runs kept coming in the fifth inning as Belmont Abbey tallied one more run in the top of the inning and King recorded two more runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. A Barbour single brought in both of the Tornado runs in the inning.
- In the sixth inning, the Crusaders added another run to break a 12-12 tie, however, the Tornado scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 15-13 lead in the contest. Castaneda ripped a two run bomb in the inning to center field.
- King posted another run in the seventh inning following a Castaneda sacrifice fly to center field to extend their lead to 16-13.
- The Crusaders would score again in the top of the eighth to cut the King lead to 16-14, however, that would be the last run they would get as King finished off Belmont Abbey 16-14 to complete the comeback victory.
FOR THE FOES
- Thomas Yoder and Matt McGarry led the way for the Crusaders as each posted three hits. Yoder tallied five RBI's on the day.
- Luke Cureton chipped in two hits for Belmont Abbey.
Winning Pitcher: Ashton King (3-2) 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
Losing Pitcher: Sean Luchansky (8-1) 2.0 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 1 SO
- King takes on the top seed in the tournament and second nationally when they play North Greenville University Sunday at 11:00 am in Burlington, N.C.
- Belmont Abbey will play the University of Mount Olive Sunday at 3:00 pm.