The Toccoa Falls College Eagles baseball team (26 – 14) hosted the Hiwassee College Tigers on Sunday for the season’s final home games. After TFC took Saturday’s game in a dramatic 6 – 5 victory, the visiting Tigers took game one 1 – 2, but TFC evened the day with a 4 – 2 victory in the rubber match. TFC was 3 – 2 in the 5 games with Hiwassee College this season.
Senior pitcher Micah Ellington took the mound at Toccoa Falls for the final time in Sunday’s first game. Hiwassee took a 1 – 0 lead in the first inning off two TFC errors and doubled their lead in the fifth inning, 2 – 0. Zack Warner scored TFC’s lone run in the 6th inning when Hiwassee’s third baseman Nikk Craig could not complete a routine ground ball. The Eagles struggled to capitalize on the unearned run and fell 1 – 2.
Ellington was credited with the loss despite allowing one earned run, 5 hits, one walk, and two strike outs in a complete game 7 innings. Ellington was matched in the pitcher’s duel by Hiwassee’s Chris Large. Large earned the win and threw 7 innings, four hits, one run, zero earned runs, a walk, and two strike outs.
The Eagles collected just four hits off Large but left 9 runners on base in the loss. Ronnie Stewart finished 2 – 4 and Zack Warner and AJ Mussler each had a hit for the Eagles. Hiwassee’s Cody Armstrong was 2- 3 with a run. Alex Huddleston also scored for the Tigers.
TFC took the second game of the doubleheader, 4 – 2. Will Patrick’s sacrifice fly ball to right field in the second inning scored Justin Key to give the Eagles an early 1 – 0. The Tigers would tie the score at 1 – 1 in the top of the third before TFC plated three additional runs in their half of the third to retake the lead, 4 – 1. Hiwassee would attempt a comeback in the 7th inning and scored a quick run to bring the game to 4 – 2. The Tigers threatened with runners on first and second and one out, but TFC held onto the 4 – 2 victory as Jordan Couillard and Josh Ward combined to end the game with a “6 – 4 line drive double play.”
TFC’s Justin Key earned the win with a complete game, 7 innings, 7 hits, two earned runs, no walks, and four strike outs. Andrew Hyatt took the loss with three innings, three hits, four earned runs, four walks, and two strikeouts.
Josh Ward walked twice, scored a run, and had two stolen bases for the Eagles, who only collected three hits in the win. Ronnie Stewart was 1 – 2 with a run and a RBI. Senior Corey Warner, in his last home game, was 1 – 3 with a run and RBI. This was also the last home game for senior catcher Adam Reynolds. Alex Huddleston and BJ Kennedy each scored for the visiting Tigers.
On April 26 – 27 the Eagles will travel to Kissimmee, Florida, for the south region tournament. TFC will be the top seed and will play the winner of #2 Florida Christian and #3 Clearwater Christian College. The winner of the south region tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCCAA national tournament in Mason, Ohio. On the year, TFC is a combined 8 – 2 against their south region opponents.