The top ranked TFC Eagles (26 – 14) hosted Hiwassee College (NCCAA Division I) on April 20 – 21 for the final home games of the season. After TFC took Saturday’s game in a dramatic 6 – 5 victory, the visiting Tigers took game one of Sunday’s doubleheader 1 – 2. 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.
AJ Mussler’s walk-off single in the 9th inning clinched a 6 – 5, come from behind victory for the Eagles in game one. Dylan Charles started Saturday’s game for the Eagles and pitched 5.2 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, one earned run, four walks, and three strikeouts. Zach Breeden earned the win in relief and threw three and a third innings and allowed one hit, no runs, one walk, and no strikeouts.
Offensively, Jordan Couillard was 2 – 4, scored three runs and homered. Josh Hill was also 2 – 4 with two runs scored, two RBI’s and a home run. Zack Warner, AJ Mussler, and Adam Reynolds each drove in a run for the Eagles. Reynolds also threw out three would-be base stealers from behind the plate.
In game two of the series, the Eagles bats were stiffened in a 2 – 1 loss to Hiwassee. Senior pitcher Micah 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.
The Eagles won the rubber match of the series 4 – 2. 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 for Hiwassee College 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. Alex Huddleston and BJ Kennedy each scored for the visiting Tigers.
The series with Hiwassee College completed the regular season for TFC. The Eagles finished with a 26 – 14 record, TFC honored departing seniors Adam Reynolds, Corey Warner, and Micah Ellington before Saturday’s 6 – 5 victory.
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.