BRISTOL, Tenn. – King Baseball earned its 30th win of the season with a demonstrative win in their regular season finale against Young Harris on Friday afternoon. The Tornado and Mountain Lions played two to close out the 2012 season with the teams splitting the pair. King ended the season with a 30-20 overall record and went out with an 18-6 win.
GAME ONE: Young Harris 8, King 3 (F/9)
King began the day falling behind early as part of an 8-3 loss to the Mountain Lions in game one of their doubleheader on Friday afternoon. Young Harris put up four runs in the third inning to go up 5-0 and never looked back.
Trey Rogers put Young Harris on the board with a run-scoring single in the first inning prior to their four-run third. The top of the lineup accounted for two of their four runs and came via a triple from Jack Morrow, sacrifice fly by Zach Bricknell, and back-to-back RBI singles by Dom Wyshinski and Tom Valichka.
The Mountain Lions added three more runs in the seventh inning to go up 8-1 prior to King responding with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Gaby plated two with a two RBI triples to center field to make it an 8-3 ballgame but failed to muster any more offense during the game.
Senior Zack Winkle (Knoxville, Tenn.) took the bump for the Tornado and went 0.2 innings before being lifted for David Prichard in the opening frame. Prichard allowed four runs over 2.1 innings on nine hits. Doug Glenn followed up with the final 3.1 innings, surrendering one run on two hits and striking out two.
GAME TWO: Young Harris 6, King 18 (F/7)
King redeemed its earlier loss with an offensive onslaught, pounding out 18 runs on 20 hits against seven different Mountain Lion pitchers. Four King hitters had three hits each in the seven inning affair while two had four RBI.
The Tornado wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard at the King College Baseball Complex, tallying five runs in the opening frame. King led off with four consecutive singles off of Oliver Pratt, leading to two of their runs. After the first of two pitching changes in the first inning, King continued to score from a double play ball, wild pitch, and a stolen base at the plate courtesy of a run down.
After Carl Roberts (Blountville, Tenn.) blasted a two-run homer as part of a three-run second inning, King poured on six more runs in the third to take a 14-1 lead after three innings. Leading the way with run scoring hits were Garrett Cook with a RBI double, Jarrod Payne (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Bryant Walker's RBI singles, and Doug Freeman's double down the left field line to score two more runs.
King scored the last of their runs with a four-run fourth inning led by RBI base hits from Tyler Gaby and Cody Snyder plus fielder's choices that led to Tornado runs hit by senior Shane Timberlake and Doug Freeman.
Leading King offensively was the quartet of Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.), Cody Snyder (Bluff City, Tenn./Tennessee High), Bryant Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.), and Garrett Cook (Luray, Va.). All three had a trio of hits and combined to go 12-for-17 with six RBI and 11 runs scored between them. Six King players had multiple hits in the final game of the regular season as the Tornado registered 20 total on the day as part of the 18-6 final score.
Reiss Stanley (Lenoir City, Tenn.) took the win to finish the year 6-4 on the bump. He tossed five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out four. Brandon Houser and Dustin Pannell each tossed one inning of relief work and surrendered one run apiece.
Adam Moore and Trey Rogers led Young Harris with two hits each. Moore hit a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning as part of the Mountain Lions' biggest inning.
With the win, King has reached the 30-win marker for the season and completes the 2012 campaign with a final regular season record of 30-20. The team finishes with two more wins and five fewer losses than it did in 2011. It is also the first 30-win season since 2009 when the Tornado went 32-19 overall in their final year as a NAIA institution.