by Jason Mehl, Director of TFC Sports Information
The Toccoa Falls College Baseball team has won 12 of its last 13 games and is heading into the conference tournament ranked #1 in the nation in NCCAA Div. II. On April 18 the TFC Eagles went to Franklin Springs and won two lop-sided games against Emmanuel College, 12-4 and 14-4. TFC scored five runs in the 2nd inning, aided by a grand slam by Adam Reynolds, and went on to rack up seven more runs off a total of 13 hits for the game. Micah Ellington and Nate Bowen pitched for the Eagles and held Emmanuel to three earned runs. Bowen was credited with the win. Josh Ward (3-3, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI, 1SB), Corey Warner (3-3, 3 runs scored, 2RBI), Avery Dodd (2-3, 3runs scored, 1HR) and Reynolds carried much of the offensive load for the Eagles in game one.
TFC continued the offensive attack in the second game, scoring 14 runs off 20 hits. With the score already 2-0, Corey Warner made it 3-0 with a solo homerun in the 2nd inning, and then the Eagles manufactured five more runs in the 3rd to go up 8-0. Emmanuel managed to score two runs off starting pitcher Andrew Thorne, and picked up two more off Dave Brown in his one inning of relief, but TFC continued to build the lead and was never threatened. Thorne pitched six innings and pushed his record to a perfect 6-0 on the season, to complement his nation-leading 1.34 ERA. Warner completed a perfect day at the plate, going 4-4 with the home run and a double and four RBI. Thorne (3-5) and Tyler Sellers (2-5) drove in two runs each and Brett Denney (3-4) drove in one run and scored three. Head Coach Justin Pollock was pleased with the team’s performance. “That’s the best weâ€™ve played all year in all facets of the game,” he said, adding that it was “very satisfying” to beat such a talented Emmanuel College team.
TFC was scheduled to play a double-header against Hiawassee College on April 22, but Hiawassee forfeited both games and TFC traveled to Young Harris College where they lost 10-1. “We went from playing our best game of the year to probably our worst,” Pollock said. “I hope it was a valuable wake-up-call for us.” Young Harris dominated the Eagles, who managed just three hits in nine innings.
Pollock’s wake-up call hopes were realized the next day when TFC hosted Tennessee Temple University from Chattanooga for senior day. The careers of Brett Denney, Chris Jackson, and Josh Jordan were honored and the team went on to win both games of the double header, 15-5 and 3-1. After pitcher Derek Brown got into trouble and gave up four runs in the first two innings of game one, TFC battled back and scored eight runs with two out in the bottom of the 2nd, four of those coming from another grand slam, this time by Cam Fulcher. The TFC bats never cooled off and the Eagles scored another five runs in the next three innings–one off a line-drive homer by Reynolds. Ryan Stephens came on in relief of Brown and gave up just one run on three hits.
Game two was a pitching duel won by Dylan Charles, who has won five straight games since starting the season 0-2. Charles gave up six hits and one run in five innings, and Nate Bowen came on and pitched two scoreless innings in relief. Chris Sheridan provided all the run-support his pitchers needed with a two-run blast in the fourth inning.
The Eagles (24-15, 4-4 conf.) travel to Clearwater, Florida this weekend for the conference tournament at Clearwater Christian College.