by Jason Mehl, Director of TFC Sports Information
The Toccoa Falls College baseball team played two double-headers at home last week and split them both. The opening game against Northwestern Ohio University (NAIA) on March 24 was a forgettable 12-0 loss. TFC managed only two hits off of UNOHâ€™s top pitcher, and two TFC pitchers combined to give up seven walks and hit five batters and the visitors plated most of those free base-runners. Freshman Ryan Stephens took the pitching loss.
But the Eagles responded by blanking UNOH in the second game, 7-0. Andrew Thorne pitched all seven innings, gave up five hits and walked four while striking out four. In the fourth inning with the game still scoreless, UNOH loaded the bases with no outs, but Thorne stayed cool and pitched out of the jam, with an assist from left-fielder Brett Denney who threw a runner out at home. In the bottom of the 4th the Eagles strung together some hits and scored three runs, two on a double from Avery Dodd. Thorne kept the UNOH bats under control the rest of the way and TFC added four more runs in the top of the 6th off a double by Cam Fulcher and a single by Josh Jordan. Corey Warner also went 2-2 with a double and picked up one RBI.
On March 25 the Eagles hosted conference opponent Clearwater Christian College. TFC won the first game 4-3, on the strength of another strong pitching performance from freshman Dylan Charles. Charles has pitched well all season, but was winless before going the distance and giving up five hits while striking out five against Clearwater. TFC took a 3-1 lead into the 7th inning and Charles gave up three hits and was facing a batter with runners at first and third and only one out, but Head Coach Justin Pollock trusted him to get the job done and he did. With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 7th, Fulcher led off and hit the second pitch he saw over the wall for a walk-off homerun. Fulcher was 2-3 on the day, Josh Jordan was 2-3 and Chris Jackson was 2-2. Dodd was 1-3 with a solo homerun in the 4th inning.
The Eagles received another great pitching performance in game two, for seven and two-thirds innings. Freshman Johnny Hodges took a 1-0 lead into the top of the 7th inning. With a runner on second, and two outs, Hodges struck out the potential winning run for what should have been the game’s final out, but the ball got away from the catcher, Jackson, and took an unlikely bounce and ended up way up the first base line and the Clearwater runner scored from second. Micah Ellington came on in relief and got out of the 7th without giving up another run, but the Eagles failed to score in the bottom of the inning and Clearwater piled up five runs in the 8th and went on to win, 6-1.
The Eagles, now 11-12 (2-4 conference) on the year, host Southern Wesleyan University on March 30 at 3:30.
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