by Jason Mehl
Director of Sports Information
After losing five straight games, the Toccoa Falls College baseball team (19-14-1) won four straight conference games in two doubleheaders at home last week. The Eagles beat Clearwater Christian College 6-1 and 11-3 on April 2, and beat Florida Christian College 5-3 and 4-3 on April 7.
In game one, Justin Key pitched a complete seven-inning game, giving up one run to Clearwater with two outs in the top of the 7th inning. Despite giving up only two earned runs in his last 18 innings, it was Key’s first win in three starts. It took the Eagles one round through the batting order to figure out Clearwater’s pitcher, but they got to him for four runs in the 4th inning and then scored two more in the 6th. Jordan Couillard went 2-3 in game one, with two runs scored and an RBI. Josh Ward was 2-4 with a run scored and a double and an RBI.
Extending Their Lead
The Eagles scored early in game two getting one run in the 1st inning off an RBI double from Andrew Thorne. They then put up six runs in the 4th inning with a series of base-hits and a two-run homer by Tyrone Dawson. TFC pitcher Dylan Charles kept Clearwater off the board until he gave up three runs in the top of the 5th inning. Charles settled down and got out of the inning and the Eagles got a scoreless and hitless inning each from Micah Ellington and Nick Boutwell. TFC then extended their 7-3 lead by adding four more runs in the sixth inning. Dawson was 3-4 with an RBI double to add to his homerun. Zach Warner was 2-4 with a double, scored two runs and drove in one. Cory Klassen was also 2-4 with a double and two RBI.
The Eagles enjoyed much less breathing room in their wins against Florida Christian. TFC scored two runs in the second inning off a homerun by Cam Fulcher and an RBI ground-out by Dawson, but Florida Christian made it 2-1 in the 3rd with one of three runs scored off Key, who was pitching on four day’s rest. Warner hit another lead-off homerun in the bottom of the inning, but the visitors scored again in the top of the 4th to stay within one run. In the bottom of the Adam Reynolds singled and Dawson hit a two-run homer to give Key a bit of a cushion. Klassen pitched the 6th inning and gave up his first run of the season after 13 innings of relief. Closer Nate Bowen did his job in the top of the 7th, striking out all three batters he faced to notch his sixth save of the season.
Bowen Takes Care of Business Again
The Eagles had to come from behind to win game two. TFC’s Wesley Warren scored on a passed ball in the third inning, but Florida Christian scored two runs in the top of the 4th off Charles, also starting after four day’s rest. With another run in the top of the 5th, the visitors were up 3-1. In the bottom of the 5th Reynolds was hit by a pitch and Warren was on first as a pinch-runner. With Dawson at the plat facing a full count with no outs, Head Coach Justin Pollock sent Warren and Dawson connected with a line drive into left-center and Warren scored, beating a good throw to the plate. Dawson advanced to third on the play and was left there by the next two batters but was brought home by an RBI single from Ward to tie the game at 3-3. Charles gave up a double to start the 6th. With a runner on second, Pollock recognized the Eagles needed strike-outs and he brought in Bowen earlier than usual. Bowen struck-out the next batter, got a ground-out to third, walked one batter, then struck out the next to end the inning. TFC didn’t score in the bottom of the 6th. In the top of the 7th Bowen took care of business again. He gave up one hit, but notched two more strike-outs to end the inning. In the bottom of the 7th, Dawson and Thorne walked between outs and then advanced to second and third on a passed ball. With two outs, Warner hit a line drive up the middle to score Dawson for the win. Bowen recorded the pitching win to go 3-0 on the year and improved his ERA to 0.86.
The Eagles host a doubleheader with Berry College on April 14 beginning at 1:00.