COCHRAN, GA - After a 10 inning game on Thursday, the Knights and Talladega College Tornadoes faced off in a doubleheader totalling 16 innings on Friday and saw the teams split. The Tornadoes took game 1 by a score of 6-1 but the Knights hit back hard in game 2 putting up a 15-2 win to take the 3-game series 2-1.
In Game 1, the Tornadoes scored only run in the first 5 innings with a first inning walk and double before Preston Sparks settled in for the next 5 innings. Sparks was pulled in the 6th with no outs after allowing 2 runners to reach and was charged with a pair of earned runs for his outing with a pair of strikeouts and 4 hits surrendered. The Knights gave up 3 in the 6th and got one back in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run by Zach Cornell, his first of the year. Shane Tucker and Jackson Braden pitched the remaining 4 innings for the Knights and gave up a combined 2 earned runs on 5 hits. The Knights were plagued by double play balls on offense and defense as they hit into 4 double plays and, despite turning 2 on defense, made minor mistakes to miss opportunities for 2 more.
The Knights got back to better form in game 2 putting up a pair of runs in the 1st as Trent Nash led off the game with a double and came around to score on a balk and Luke Parks scored on an RBI single by MJ Rookard. The Tornaodes got one back in the 2nd on the only early mistake by starter Jason Gifford giving up a homerun and held a 2-1 lead. The Knights put up a 5-spot in the 3rd on just 1 hit as a hit-by-pitch with one out was followed by a walk and Rookard's 2-run double. After 2 more walks to load the bases, three more walks were issued by the Tornadoes reliever before getting a lineout to end the inning. A pair of hits in the 4th allowed the Tornadoes to score again and the Knights led 7-2 after 4. The 5th was prosperous for the Knights with 4 more runs on 3 hits as a wild throw allowed the first run to score was followed by Rookard's 2-run double and Guner Sellers' RBI single. In the 6th the Knights scored 4 more times starting with an RBI single by Bucky McGlamrey, sacrifice fly by Blake Jackson and 2-run single by Rookard.
Standout performances for the day included Rookard going 5-for-5 in game 2 with 7 RBI, 2 Runs, and 2 doubles along with Gifford striking out 7 in 4.0 innings.