Tornado drop series opener at #25 NGU

Photo credit: Danielle Stauffer
Photo credit: Danielle Stauffer

TIGERVILLE, S.C. – The King University baseball team took to the road to face Conference Carolinas leading and 25th-ranked North Greenville University. King grabbed the lead early, but the Crusaders answered with a big first inning and the Tornado couldn't recover, falling 13-6.

FINAL SCORE: #25 North Greenville 13, King 6
LOCATION: Ashmore Park; Tigerville, S.C.
RECORDS: King 15-7, 6-4 Conference Carolinas; North Greenville 20-5, 8-2 Conference Carolinas

King Starting Lineup

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

North Greenville Starting Lineup

1. Josh Black – LF
2. Utah Jones – SS
3. John Jones – C
4. Connor Grant – RF
5. Ryan Brown – 1B
6. Andrew Plunkett – DH
7. Jack Morris – CF
8. Jaren Williams – 2B
9. Eric Gilber – 3B
Starting Pitcher: RHP Ethan Garner


  • Michael paced the offense, going 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs batted in and two runs scored.
  • King posted a pair of hits, including a double.
  • Trader Flora ripped his third home run of the season, coming in the ninth inning.


  • Michael got King on the board in the first inning with a home run to left field.
  • However, the Crusaders answered in the bottom of the first inning with six runs, capped by a three-run double from Plunkett and two-run home run from Morris.
  • North Greenville stretched their lead to 10-1 with a grand slam from Grant in the fourth inning.
  • The Crusader lead grew to 12-1 following a John Jones two-run home run in the sixth inning.
  • Michael ripped a double that scored Castaneda and King in the seventh and Valdes followed with a double to score Michael.
  • Bailey later ripped a sacrifice fly, scoring Valdes and cutting the Tornado deficit to 12-5.
  • North Greenville added on in the bottom of the seventh on a Dawson Price home run, stretching the lead back to 13-5.
  • Flora ripped a home run in the ninth inning, but that was all King would score as the Crusaders took the contest 13-6.


  • John Jones paced the Crusaders, going 3-for-3 with a double, home run, two runs batted in and three runs scored.
  • Grant drove in four runs on two hits and Plunkett drove in three runs on two hits.
  • Morris also hit a home run, driving in a pair.


Winning Pitcher: Ethan Garner (4-1) 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
Losing Pitcher: Grant Boyd (4-2) 5.0 IP, 10 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO


  • The Conference Carolinas series concludes with a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.
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