JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – King produced the best offensive day against Carson-Newman of any team in 2018 cranking out 14 hits in an 11-6 victory over the Eagles Tuesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
It snaps a five-game skid for King (10-4) against Carson-Newman (9-6) as the Tornado win for the first time since April 2, 2014 and the first time at Mossy Creek on Feb. 20, 2013.
The Eagles mustered a pair of knocks with runners in scoring position in the game in 13 at-bats leaving 10 men on base in the contest. Conversely, King went 6-for-14 in those situations.
"It's more of bad approaches," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin assessed. "The pitch selection or the lack of pitch selection, lack of commanding the strike zone – a pitcher tries to command the strike zone. A hitter has to command his strike zone. We had two breaking balls were hanging and we take them. It's a mistake the guy made and he got away with.
"The hitters have to learn to have a plan. What is the pitcher doing? There's a lot of things. That's why baseball is so interesting because there is a thinking part to this stuff."
King started the scoring in the top of the third inning as Tyler Bailey drove the first pitch of the frame down the left-field line and over the wall for his second home run of the season to make it 1-0.
Brett Langhorne (Mechaincsville, Va.) just missed a home run to start the bottom of the third inning lacing a double off of the top of the wall in left field. Two batters later with Langhorne at third base, Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) rifled a double into the left-field corner to pull the score even at one.
In the top of the fourth frame, the Tornado batted around and scored five times to take a 6-1 advantage. A dropped fly ball in center field by Tyler Thompson (Gallatin, Tenn.) opened the inning. RBI singles from Kevin Barbato, J.P. Castaneda and Mark Michael plated three straight runs. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly capped the scoring.
Over the next two innings, the Eagles scored three times to pull within a pair at 6-4 scoring on a fielder's choice, an error and a sacrifice fly.
King used the long ball to stretch the lead out to seven runs. With one on and one out in the top of the sixth, Tony Valdes cranked a 2-2 offering over the center-field fence for his third long ball of the year.
The first two men reached in the top of the seventh stanza before Trader Flora crushed a 3-2 delivery over the left-field fence on a towering fly ball to push the margin to seven at 11-5.
After the first two men reached for the Eagles in the bottom of the seventh inning, Snapp laced a base hit into left field to score a run and make it an 11-5 contest. C-N left the bases loaded in the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, C-N drew four-straight two-out walks to get a run home to pull within five at 11-6. Mark Michael moved from third base to record the final out, a strikeout and close out the contest.
The top three men in C-N's lineup, Langhorne, Campbell and Snapp combined to go 6-for-11 while the rest of the unit went 4-for-22 at the plate. Langhorne went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Snapp drove in a pair.
Five players had multi-hit days for King in the contest as Valdes and Flora drove in three runs apiece and Castaneda and Barbour had a trio of knocks.
Christian Lindsey picked up the win on the hill going three innings of one-run baseball scattering three hits as one of four hurlers used on the day for King.
Griffin's unit hits the road for a South Atlantic Conference series against Coker starting at 2 p.m. looking for a second straight series victory in league action.
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