Tornado quickly earns 1-0 win over Bluefield
King moves into the tournament's ninth game Thursday at 4 p.m. The Tornado will play the winner between top-seed Asbury (Ky.) University and Bluefield. Asbury and Bluefield face off at 10 a.m. in an elimination game. At 1 p.m. Mid-Continent, the No. 4 seed, takes on No. 6 seed Covenant (Ga.) College with the winner advancing and the loser knocked out of the postseason event.
Earlier in the day Covenant eliminated No. 2 seed Oakland City (Ind.) University thanks to a 6-4 decision score in the opening game of the day. Mid-Continent held off Asbury 7-6 to stay alive.
The event was delayed 2:30 due to the storms overnight, but the event was able to stay on schedule.
King, now at 24-22, owns a four-game winning streak for the third time this season, the first since March 13-19.
Alex Martin (Kingston, Tenn.) improved to 4-1 with his first complete game and solo shutout of the season. In all he scattered two hits with two walks a hit batter and one strikeout.
In the bottom of the first walks to two of the first three Ram hitters with a hit by pitch by to the clean-up batter by Martin loaded the bases with one down thanks to a sacrifice bunt. Martin regrouped with a strikeout against Cameron Hynes and Travis Weaver lined out to center to close the threat.
The back-to-back shutouts, King defeated Mid-Continent 4-0 Tuesday in the opening round, was the first time the Tornado held back-to-back opponents scoreless since April 27, 2007, with wins of 8-0 and 1-0 over Tennessee Temple University.
The lone run scored thanks to a Ram error. C.J. Stabler (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the game off with an infield single before moving up on a sacrifice bunt by Cody Snyder (Bluff City, Tenn.). With Tyler Gaby (Bristol, Tenn.) at the plate Stabler stole his 20th base of the season and on the play Hynes's throw was to the right of third which allowed Stabler to come home for the eventual game-winning score.
Snyder finished with two of King's four hits.
Adam Hoyt went the distance for Bluefield, the runner-up at the 2010 NCCAA Division I World Series. He struck out 10 Tornado batters with at least one an inning including all three outs in the second. In four of the seven innings the final out was via a strikeout. He scattered four hits without a walk.
Both pitchers faced 25 batters apiece in the game that took 85 minutes to play.
The only hits for Bluefield were from Andrew Dickenson and Kyle Cabral, the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters in the line up. The first seven batters combined to go 0-for-16.
Wednesday's contest was the first time King and Bluefield met on the baseball field since the 2009 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament which resulted in a 5-4 win for Bluefield. The last time Bluefield played at King was on April 12, 2008, as the two split a doubleheader. The Rams took the opener 7-6 before King won a 5-4 contest.