by Jason Mehl
Director of Sports Information
The Toccoa Falls College baseball team (23-14-1) won four games last week to extend their winning streak to eight. They beat Piedmont College’s JV squad in a doubleheader in Demorest, 8-7 and 6-1 on April 11. On April 14 they hosted a doubleheader against Berry College and won both games, 7-3 and 7-6.
Game one against Piedmont went 11 innings. In the bottom of the 4th inning Piedmont led 6-4 and had the bases loaded with two outs. TFC Coach Justin Pollock brought in Cory Klassen, who got the third out and pitched two more scoreless innings. In the top of the 6th, Klassen and Justin Key each drove in a run for the Eagles to tie the game at 6-6. TFC threatened to score in the top of the 7th, but Cam Fulcher was gunned down at the plate to end the inning. Closer Nate Bowen took the mound in the bottom of the 7th and ended up pitching five innings of hitless relief, striking out six batters and picking up the win. Zach Warner drove in the winning run with a one-out sacrifice fly in the top of the 7th. Fulcher went 2-6 with a homerun and a double and two runs scored. Jordan Couillard was 3-3 with a triple and two runs scored. Corey Warner was 3-5 with a double, a run scored and two RBI.
Game two was not as lopsided as the final score indicates. TFC’s Micah Ellington gave up only one run in six innings and earned his third win, but he gave up six hits, walked eight batters and hit two more. Piedmont scored one run in the 2nd inning but left the bases loaded at the end of the 1st and 2nd innings and left 15 runners on base over the course of the game. The Eagles scored two in the 1st off an RBI double by Zach Warner and an RBI single from Fulcher. Key drove in a run in the 2nd inning. Klassen drove in the last three TFC runs, with an RBI single in the 3rd and a two-run double in the 5th.
TFC Defeats Berry
In the first game against Berry College the visitors scored two runs on four hits of TFC starter Dylan Charles in the 1st inning, but TFC responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning, three of them coming from a Zach Warner homerun to straightaway center. Warner drove in Josh Ward in the 2nd inning to put the Eagles up 5-2. Charles blanked Berry the next two innings before getting into some trouble in the 4th when Berry loaded the bases but scored only one run. TFC scored two more runs in the 6th when Ward hit a two-out single and Andrew Thorne hit a towering homerun way beyond the left field wall. Bowen pitched the 6th and 7th innings and was perfect, striking out four of six batters for his seventh save, and shrinking his ERA to 0.62. While Warner and Thorne drove in six of the seven TFC runs, Ward was 4-4 in the lead-off spot, stole one base and scored three runs.
Berry exploded out of the gate in the second game scoring six runs in the 1st inning off Klassen, who was starting his first game of the season, but they didn’t score again. Klassen went three innings, Zach Breeden threw one, Nick Boutwell threw two and Ellington threw the final frame and picked up his fourth win. TFC scored on a sacrifice fly from Klassen in the 2nd and another one by Couillard in the 3rd, then went dry for three innings before putting up five runs in the bottom of the seventh for the win. Key led off the wild final inning with a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball and was driven home by a single from Tyrone Dawson. Thorne drove in Dawson with a single, Zach Warner hit a single, and Corey Warner walked to load the bases with one out and the score 6-4. Couillard hit a single that scored Thorne to make it 6-5. Wesley Warren was sent home on the play and the throw beat him but the catcher dropped it and the score was tied 6-6. Two batters later, with the bases loaded and one out, Adam Reynolds, was hit by the first pitch and Corey Warner walked in for the winning run. Pollock was pleased with the way his team responded after falling behind to a “young but well-coached” Berry team in both games.
TFC is at home again on April 24 for the final regular season game against Truett McConnell College at 3:00. They then host the conference tournament beginning April 26.