BRISTOL, Tenn. – Sophomores Reiss Stanley and Cory Rhodes totaled 15.1 innings and 17 strikeouts while allowing only three runs to the St. Andrews College Black Knights in a pair of wins at the King College Baseball Complex on Saturday afternoon. The Tornado defeated St. Andrews 8-5 and 2-1 to take the series before Sunday's finale and stay a perfect 9-0 at home this season.
GAME ONE: St. Andrews 5, King 8
The King offense backed Reiss Stanley (Lenoir City, Tenn.) with four two-run innings in an 8-5 win to start the day of doubleheader action. Stanley set season highs with 8.1 innings pitched and 10 strike outs against the Black Knights. Stanley (4-1) improved as the game progressed, shutting down St. Andrews in order in the fifth, seventh, and eighth innings while recording three of his strikeouts. He struck out his last batter faced before giving way to the bullpen that allowed three runs in the ninth. David Pritchard (Hamilton, Ohio) came in for Doug Freeman to close the game out with a pair of strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.
Carl Roberts (Blountville, Tenn.) recorded four RBI in the win, one in each of his final four at bats. Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.) put up four hits and scored three times, beginning with a run-scoring triple in the third inning to tie the game at one. Roberts put King up by one with a sacrifice fly two batters later before the duo helped extend the Tornado lead in the fourth. Gaby scored a second time when Roberts and Hunter Smith drew consecutive walks to put King up 4-1.
Gaby notched his second RBI with a double that scored Shane Timberlake. Following a sacrifice bunt that moved Gaby to third, Roberts hit his second run-scoring, sacrifice fly of the game to give King a 6-1 lead. In the eighth, Gaby hit his third extra-base hit of the contest and his second double, later scoring on a failed pickoff attempt. Two batters later, Roberts nailed his second home run of the year, a solo shot, giving the Tornado an 8-1 lead into the ninth.
Shane Timberlake (Lynchburg, Va.) went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and scored all three times he reached base in game one.
GAME TWO: St. Andrews 1, King 2
Led by a seven-inning complete game from sophomore Cory Rhodes (4-1), King took the series from St. Andrews with a 2-1 win in a pitcher's duel that featured only nine hits between the two teams. Rhodes struck out seven Black Knights to continue adding to his team-leading 40 strikeouts this season. The Kissimmee, Fla. native allowed only one run on five hits while walks two.
After going 1-2-3 in the first three innings, Josh Huffman (Lynchburg, Va.) blasted a two-out solo home run to give the Tornado a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the following inning, Sebastian Ray hit a run-scoring single to tie the game. King freshman Stephen Mullins (Bluff City, Tenn.) led the bottom of the fifth off with a double and was followed by a single from junior Tyler Orndorff (Stephenson, Va.) to give the Tornado a 2-1 lead en route to their 16th win of the season and ninth straight at home. Rhodes shut down the Knights in order in the sixth and seventh innings, striking out three of the final six recorded outs.
King improve to 16-9 overall and 7-4 in Conference Carolinas play with the doubleheader sweep over St. Andrews. They will finish the series against the Black Knights on Sunday (March 18) afternoon. The game has been rescheduled for 12:00 p.m. in an attempt to avoid imminent weather in the area.