BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University baseball team battled back against Bluefield College on Tuesday afternoon. The Tornado were down 6-1, but came back to even the score at six and send the game to extra innings. Rob Sari then gave King the 7-6 win with a sacrifice fly that scored Tony Valdes.
FINAL SCORE: King 7, Bluefield 6 (F/11)
LOCATION: King Baseball Field, Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 9-9; Bluefield 12-8
TIME OF GAME: 3:34
- Kevin Barbato and Valdes each accounted for three hits and two runs scored.
- Hunter Barbour drove in a pair with a double.
- Erik Calderon Jr. earned his first career win, tossing four shutout innings in relief.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Bluefield grabbed the lead on a Marcus Espinal double that scored Jose Santana in the second inning.
- The Tornado answered in the third inning when Valdes drove in Barbato with a single to left field.
- However, the Rams tallied runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 3-1 lead. King escaped more damage in the fifth, leaving the bases loaded.
- The Tornado then threatened in the bottom of the fifth by loading the bases, but couldn't push across any runs.
- Bluefield extended their lead to 6-1 with three runs in the sixth inning. Two runs scored with two outs, including one on a Santana single.
- The Tornado plated a pair, the second on a single from Austin Meyer in the sixth, pulling within 6-3.
- The score remained the same until Barbato and Valdes started the ninth inning with back-to-back singles.
- Barbour ripped a double, scoring both before the Tornado evened the score at six with a pinch-hit single.
- That was all the Tornado scored as the game went to extra innings.
- Bluefield loaded the bases in the 11th inning, but Calderon got back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam.
- Valdes started the bottom half of the inning with a single down the left field line.
- A sacrifice bunt from Nick Carroll moved him to second before a wild pitch put him on third.
- Sari then hit a fly ball to center field that scored Valdes and gave King the 7-6 victory.
FOR THE FOES
- Espinal drove in a pair to lead the Rams.
- Carlos Torres recorded a pair of hits and scored twice.
Winning Pitcher: Erik Calderon Jr. (1-2) 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
Losing Pitcher: Kody Gardere (1-1) 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
- King returns to Conference Carolinas play on Friday when they are scheduled to host 11th-ranked University of Mount Olive. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
- Bluefield hosts Union College (Ky.) on Friday.