BURLINGTON, N.C. – The King University baseball team opened the Conference Carolinas Baseball Championship with a statement win over the University of Mount Olive. The fifth seeded Tornado used big fourth and fifth innings to take the contest 14-1 behind a pair of home runs from Ashton King.
FINAL SCORE: King 14, Mount Olive 1
LOCATION: Burlington Athletic Stadium; Burlington, N.C.
RECORDS: King 28-17; Mount Olive 33-13-1
TIME OF GAME: 2:53
King Starting Lineup
1. Tyler Bailey – SS
2. Mark Michael – 3B
3. Kevin Barbato – LF
4. Bubba Ruiz – C
5. J.P. Castaneda – 2B
6. Ashton King – DH
7. Tony Valdes – CF
8. Austin Meyer – RF
9. Hunter Barbour – 1B
Starting Pitcher: LHP Octavio Mirabal
Mount Olive Starting Lineup
1. Trae Sweeting – CF
2. Nate Estes – RF
3. Drew Ellis – 1B
4. Justin Carroll – LF
5. Jose Lopez - C
6. Blake McLean
7. Jodan Huntley
8. James Smibert – 3B
9. Chris Douglas – 2B
Starting Pitcher: LHP Brighton Hudson
- King ripped a pair of home runs, his first career multi-home run game. The second bomb was a grand slam. On the day he went 3-for-4 with five runs batted in.
- Meyer ripped three hits and scored twice while Barbour scored three runs.
- The top three hitters in the Tornado lineup all record two hits on the day with Michael and Barbato scoring twice.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- King put the Tornado ahead with a two-out home run to left center in the second inning.
- However, the Trojans came back to even the score with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.
- Following the second frame, Mirabal settled in, throwing up four straight zeros, giving the Tornado offense a chance to take the lead.
- The offense obliged, grabbing the lead on a Ruiz bases loaded walk. However, King left the bases loaded in the frame.
- The Tornado offense went back to work in the fourth, behind a King leadoff single. Meyer later doubled and Bailey ripped a sacrifice fly before Castaneda drove in a pair with a single.
- That single gave Mirabal all he need as King led 7-1 after four innings.
- King continued to pour it on in the fifth inning, scoring seven runs, highlighted by a King grand slam that put the Tornado ahead 14-1.
- From there, the Tornado pitching staff behind Mirabal closed out the 14-1 victory.
FOR THE FOES
- McLean led the way for Mount Olive with two hits in the contest.
Winning Pitcher: Octavio Mirabal (9-5) 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
Losing Pitcher: Brighton Hudson (5-3) 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
- King takes on third seed and 20th-ranked Belmont Abbey College on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
- Mount Olive takes on the loser of Limestone College and North Greenville University at 11:00 a.m. on Friday.