Tornado comeback falls short against Mount Olive

Tornado comeback falls short against Mount Olive

BURLINGTON, N.C. – The King University baseball team didn't go down without a fight against second seed University of Mount Olive in the Conference Carolinas Baseball Championship. The fifth seeded Tornado fell behind early, but came back and put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning. However, Mount Olive escaped the jam to take the contest 8-7.

FINAL SCORE: No. 2 Mount Olive 8, No. 5 King 2
LOCATION: Burlington Athletic Stadium; Burlington, N.C.
RECORDS: King 29-19; Mount Olive 36-13-1

King Starting Lineup

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

Mount Olive Starting Lineup

1. Trae Sweeting – CF
2. Nate Estes – RF
3. Jose Lopez - C
4. Justin Carroll – 1B
5. Drew Ellis – DH
6. Blake McLean – SS
7. Jordan Huntley – LF
8. James Smibert – 3B
9. Chris Douglas – 2B
Starting Pitcher: RHP Reed Parris


  • The Tornado were paced by two from Bailey, Castaneda, King, Valdes and Meyer.
  • King, Meyer and Barbrour all drove in two runs with King and Barbato each scoring twice.


  • Mount Olive took the lead two batters in, following a walk and Estes followed with a double. An Ellis sacrifice fly gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead after the top of the first.
  • Bailey started the bottom of the first and Castaneda followed with a double, cutting the King deficit in half.
  • The Trojans extended their lead to 5-1 with three runs without a hit in the second inning.
  • King mounted a rally behind five straight walks that scored one in the fourth, making the score 5-3.
  • The Tornado couldn't push any more runs across as they left the bases loaded.
  • Mount Olive extended their lead to 6-3 in the sixth inning following a walk, sacrifice and Ellis single.
  • Back-to-back singles from Sweeting and Estes in the eighth extended the Trojan lead to 8-3.
  • King didn't go away as Barbato started the bottom of the eighth with double and scored on a one-out single from King.
  • Meyer and Barbour then recorded back-to-back run-scoring singles, cutting the Tornado deficit to 8-6.
  • However, the Trojans got consecutive strikeouts to end the inning and send the game to the ninth.
  • King didn't go down easy as Castaneda started the ninth inning with a single. King came up with a single, pulling the Tornado within 8-7 with two outs.
  • However, the Tornado couldn't get another hit as the Trojans escaped with the 8-7 victory.


  • Estes posted three hits, drove in two and scored twice to pace the Mount Olive offense.
  • Smibert and Douglas scored two runs each.


Winning Pitcher: Zack Burke (3-1) 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
Losing Pitcher: Mark Michael (1-2) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
Save: German Reyes (1) 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO


  • King was selected to the all-tournament team for the Tornado.
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