Big 9th inning lifts King over Tusculum

Photo credit: Danielle Stauffer
Photo credit: Danielle Stauffer

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – In a contest against a regional rival, the King University baseball team came away with a well-earned victory at Tusculum College on Tuesday. The Tornado held the lead for the majority of the contest, but trailed going to the ninth inning. In the final frame, King posted five runs on six hits to take the game 8-5.

FINAL SCORE: King 8, Tusculum 5
LOCATION: Pioneer Park; Greeneville, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 15-6; Tusculum 11-11

King Starting Lineup

1. J.P. Castaneda – 2B
2. Mark Michael – 3B
3. Tony Valdes – CF
4. Bubba Ruiz – DH
5. Tyler Bailey – SS
6. Hunter Barbour – 1B
7. Kevin Barbato – LF
8. Austin Meyer – RF
9. Trader Flora – C
Starting Pitcher: LHP Ashton King

Tusculum Starting Lineup

1. Daulton Martin – 2B
2. Jarel McDade – LF
3. Nate Montgomery –C
4. Colby Skeen – DH
5. Zack Finchum – RF
6. John Bennett – 1B
7. Trey Hinton – 3B
8. Seth DeHaven – DF
9. Johnny Reina – SS
Starting Pitcher: RHP Eamonn Collins


  • Valdes paced the King offense, going 3-for-5 with three runs batted in.
  • Bailey drove in a pair and Barbato scored twice on two hits.
  • Castaneda and Michael also posted two hits each.


  • King grabbed the lead in the second inning when Barbato ripped a double that score Bailey. Barbato later scored on a wild pitch, giving the Tornado a 2-0 lead.
  • The score remained the same until the Pioneers scored four times with two outs in the seventh inning to take the lead.
  • Finchum evened the score with a run scoring single before Garrett Dupuis gave Tusculum the lead with a two-run single through the left side.
  • Michael started a rally with a leadoff single in the eight for the Tornado and later scored on a Valdes single, pulling King back within 4-3.
  • Tusculum got that run back in the bottom of the inning before King grabbed the lead in the ninth inning.
  • Barbato started a Tornado rally with a leadoff single, and after an out, Flora and Castaneda loaded the bases with a pair of singles.
  • Following another out, Valdes worked the count full, and he came through on the 10th pitch of the at bat, lacing a single up the middle to score two and even the score.
  • Ruiz followed with a single to right, putting King back on top.
  • Bailey capped the five-run inning with a two-run single up the middle, giving King a 8-5 lead going to the bottom of the ninth.
  • Michael came in to pitch the ninth for the Tornado and worked around a pair of two-out base runners to close the door and give King the 8-5 victory.
  • The save gives Michael his second of the season.


  • Martin led the Pioneer offense with two hits and drove in one. He also scored one run.
  • Finchum also posted two hits and drove in one.
  • Dupuis drove in a pair.


Winning Pitcher: Christian Lindsey (2-1) 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO
Losing Pitcher: Pedro Rodriguez (2-2) 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
Save: Mark Michael (1) 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO


  • King takes to the road to face North Greenville University in a Conference Carolinas series on Friday and Saturday. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled to start at 12:00 p.m.
  • Tusculum travels to take on Catawba College on Friday and Saturday.
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