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Toccoa Falls is Headed Back to the World Series
The Toccoa Falls Eagles have been chosen by the selection committee to attend the 2014 NCCAA College World Series in Mason, Ohio. The World Series will be played on May 14-17, and will be hosted by Prasco Park.
The Eagles (33-16) will travel north as the #6 seed in the 10 team tournament. The other participants are as follows: #1 Oklahoma Christian University (37-15), #2 Trevecca Nazarene University (41-12), #3 Lee University (33-17), #4 Fresno Pacific University (30-16), #5 Bluefield College (33-17), #7 Cedarville University (28-25), #8 Trinity Christian College-Ill. (26-20) ,#9 Shorter University (15-32), and #10 Lancaster Bible College (17-18).
Under the new NCCAA baseball alignment in which divisions one and two were condensed into a single division, the format of the World Series will be round robin pool play with a single elimination semifinals for the top two teams from each pool.
The Eagles, winner of three straight NCCAA DII World Series, will open Pool B play on Wednesday at 11:00 AM against the Lee Flames. Also on Wednesday, Toccoa will see the Trevecca Trojans at 8:00 PM. The Cedarville Yellow Jackets will be TFC’s lone game on Thursday at 11:00 AM. The Eagles will conclude pool play on Friday at 1:00 PM with the Lancaster Bible Chargers.
The semifinals will be played on Friday night at 5:00 and 8:00, and the championship game will be played on Saturday at 1:00 PM.
This is the 6th NCCAA World Series appearance for Toccoa Falls, qualifying each season since 2009. The Eagles have experienced unprecedented success at the friendly confines of Prasco. Toccoa finished as World Series champions in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. TFC’s placed as runners-up in 2010.
- Tourbeau Sports Group will be streaming all games live.
- Free, live stats will be provided by GameChanger
- Hotel information, directions, and general information can be found HERE
Toccoa Ends Marathon Day with Heartbreaking Loss
Toccoa Falls College participated in the NCCAA south conference tournament in West Point, Georgia, on May 8-10. TFC ultimately fell in the championship round to the Shorter Hawks, but not before making a valiant effort with the odds stacked against them.
The Eagles traveled to Point University as the top seed, and breezed through the opening round with a 11-1 dismantling of the Johnson University Suns, 11-1. On May 9, the Eagles were upset by the #2 seed from Shorter University. The Hawks defeated the Eagles 6-5 in 10 innings. After failing to score with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 9th, the Eagles would be forced to turn around and immediately face Clearwater Christian College on Friday night in an elimination game.
Friday’s win-or-go-home showdown with Clearwater was rained out after a lengthy rain delay. The postponement allowed TFC time to recover physical and mentally from the crushing defeat to Shorter, but set up an unusual event in which the Eagles would be forced to win three games on Saturday to claim the conference banner and the automatic berth to the College World Series.
The elimination game with Clearwater was rescheduled for Saturday morning at 10:00 AM, and the Eagles made quick work of their long time rivals, 16-2.
Sitting in the “catbirds seat,” the Hawks were fresh and rested; the first game between TFC and Shorter began at 1:00 PM. After breezing through four easy innings of work and earning the morning win against Clearwater, Dylan Charles (pictured above) took the mound for the second time of the day to square off with the Hawks.
The Eagles scored four runs in the fourth inning to take control of the game, 4-0. That would be all the offense Charles needed to cruise to his second victory of the day. Charles breezed through the first 6 innings without allowing a run, but was charged with two earned runs in the bottom of the 7th as the Eagles closed out the Hawks to force an extra game in the championship series, 4-2.
In Charles’ two starts on the day, he threw a combined 11 innings, allowed 8 hits and no walks, two earned runs, and struck out 8 batters. With the two wins, Charles upped his season record to 10-4, and increased his school record to 33 career wins.
Justin Key and Josh Hill each had two hits in the game, and each had a RBI. Will Patrick, AJ Mussler, Russ Pritchett, and Hill each scored in the fourth inning.
With the win over Shorter, the Eagles forced a winner-take-all confrontation in TFC’s third game of the day. The deciding game with Shorter started at 3:30 and was again threatened with a rain delay through out.
The Hawks scored an unearned run in the top of the first as the Eagles had several uncharacteristic errors and miscues. The Hawks would hold a 1-0 lead throughout the game as the tension and precipitation both grew.
True freshman Zach Murdock did not allow a hit in the second, third, fourth, or fifth innings. Likewise, the Eagles offense also struggled to solve Murdock’s counterpart, Travis McPherson until senior center fielder and team leader Justin Key made the most of a pitch to hit and tied the game with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the fifth inning. Key’s 6th homer of the year barely had enough power to leave the park, but tied the game at 1-1 nonetheless.
The Hawks responded to the momentum shift with two runs of their own in the 6th inning off Murdock to retake a 3-2 lead.
Having already played 20 1/2 innings of baseball on the day, spanning 6.5 hours of game time, the Eagles were forced to dig deep once again and fight from behind in the bottom of the 7th inning.
Pinch hitter Tray Hill led off with a single through the box, and was replaced by pinch runner Eric Lusk. Key was retired for the first out, but Lusk moved into scoring position. Josh Ward moved Lusk to third with a single to left field. Ward, representing the tying run, took second with a stolen base. With Lusk at third and Ward at second, conference player of the year Ronnie Stewart stepped into the box as the winning run. Stewart put a charge into a pitch, but was only deep enough to score Lusk from third. With two outs, the Hawks intentionally walked Jordan Couillard to face Josh Hill. McPherson bested Hill for McPherson’s fifth strike out of the game. The Eagles fell to the Hawks in the championship game 3-2 with the winning run on base.
Murdock finished with 6 2/3 innings pitched, 7 hits allowed, three runs, two earned, a walk, and three strikeouts.
The Hawks received the south’s automatic bid to the College World Series, while the Eagles were forced to wait out the selection process. Toccoa was selected as an at-large bid on Saturday night, and will travel to Mason, Ohio, for the College World Series on May 14-17. www.TFC.edu/athletics will post the College World Series information as soon as it is made available.
Eagles Maul Clearwater, Again
After a disappointing, 6- 5 10 inning loss to Shorter University on Friday night, the Eagles faced familiar rivals Clearwater Christian College in an elimination game in the south conference tournament hosted by Point University. Toccoa Falls swept the five game season series with Clearwater, and continued its domination over the Cougars on Saturday morning. In the “win or go home” contest, the Eagles prevailed 16-2.
TFC scored 13 runs in the fifth inning to end the offensive struggles of the first four innings. In the inning, TFC had just 6 hits, but were hit by three Clearwater pitches and were issued several free passes.
In the game, second baseman Josh Ward was 3-4 with two runs scored and five RBI’s. Justin Key had two hits in three plate appearances, scored twice, walked twice, and drove in three runs. Catcher Mike Sneed (pictured above) also was 2-3 and had a RBI. Will Patrick scored three runs, and Tyler Sellars scored twice.
Pitcher Dylan Charles earned the win for the Eagles to improve his mark to 9-4 on the year. Charles pitched four shutout innings, allowed three hits, no walks, and struck out five. Clay Ogle and Josh Ward each threw scoreless innings for TFC.
After the massive fifth inning, TFC cruised into the tournament championship round where the Eagles will again face the Shorter Hawks on Saturday at 1:00 PM. Because TFC advanced through the loser’s bracket, the Eagles will need to defeat the Hawks twice. The games can be followed and watched live by clicking HERE.
Eagles Advance in Conference Tournament
The three time defending College World Series champions Toccoa Falls Eagles kicked off the 2014 postseason on Thursday night at the south region tournament hosted by Point University in West Point, Georgia. The top-seeded Eagles entered the tournament with a 30-14 record, including a perfect 8-0 against tournament participants. The Johnson University (FL) Suns traveled to Georgia as the fourth seed, and have struggled at times in a transition year for the program. Toccoa swept Johnson in the three game season series, and continued its domination of the Suns in the opening round of the postseason, 11-1.
The Eagles scored three runs in the first inning and four more in the second to hold a strong 7-0 lead early in the game. In the first, Justin Key sent the first pitch of the inning to right-center field for a leadoff double. The Eagles loaded the bases after Josh Ward was hit by a pitch and Ronnie Stewart was intentionally walked. With the bases loaded and no outs, Jordan Couillard (left) also walked to score Key from third. Will Patrick followed and grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Ward. On the play, Stewart also scored following a defensive error.
In the second, Key and Ward hit back to back doubles to give TFC a 4-0 lead. Couillard singled to left-center and scored Ward from second. Stewart, who was again intentionally walked, and Couillard each scored on Josh Hill’s single up the middle.
The Eagles’ early 7-0 was more than enough breathing room for starting pitcher Zach Breeden (pictured above). Breeden kept the ball down all night and attacked the strike zone. One of the few mistakes Breeden made came in the third inning and resulted in the Suns only run of the game. Caleb Richard got a pitch to hit and tripled with one away. Richard scored after Adam Rasumssen singled in the Suns lone run. The game would remain at 7-1 until the Eagles batted in the bottom of the 6th.
With one out and no runners on base, slugger Ronnie Stewart was intentionally walked for the third time in the game. Senior shortstop Jordan Couillard followed with his fourth homer of the year to give Breeden and the Eagles a 9-1 lead.
Toccoa evoked the 10 run rule in the 7th inning with runs scored by Russ Pritchett and AJ Mussler. Mussler and Ward earned RBI’s in the inning to send the Eagles into the second round.
Senior pitcher Zach Breeden earned the complete game win with 7 innings pitched, five hits allowed, one earned run, one walk, and four strikeouts.
Jordan Couillard led the Eagles potent attack with two hits in two official at-bats, two walks, two runs scored, four RBI’s, and a home run. Josh Ward finished 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBI’s. Key and Josh Hill each added two RBI’s, and Key scored twice in the win. Stewart finished with four intentional walks and three runs scored.
The Eagles will face #2 Shorter University on Friday at 2:00 for a berth in the championship round. The Shorter Hawks topped Clearwater Christian 5-2 earlier in the day to advance in the winner’s bracket. On May 3, the Eagles topped the Hawks 1-0 and 9-3 in a home doubleheader.
For live stats and streaming links for the tournament, please follow the link below.
Seniors Shine Bright on Senior Day
Toccoa Falls hosted Shorter University on May 3 for the final home games of the 2014 season. Coach Justin Pollock and the Eagles sent the 7 departing seniors off with a double header sweep of the Shorter Hawks, 1-0 and 9-3. Playing in their final home games as members of the TFC baseball program were (pictured left to right) Zach Breeden, Dylan Charles, Tyler Sellars, Josh Ward, Jordan Couillard, Justin Key, and Russ Pritchett.
The senior class, whose members have won three consecutive College World Series and have a four year record of 126-62, found themselves in a scoreless pitchers duel as the Eagles came to bat in the bottom of the 7th inning. Sophomore Will Patrick lead off with a chopper over Shorter’s third baseman, and would advance into scoring position following a defensive error. Josh Hill drove in the game’s lone run with a double (pictured right) to left-center field to plate Patrick for the walk-off win.
Four-year senior Dylan Charles, TFC’s all time career leader with 32 wins, earned a “no decision,” despite pitching five shutout innings with 7 hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Charles lowered his season ERA to 1.90. Senior reliever Zach Breeden pitched the final two innings of game one and earned his fifth win of the season. Breeden allowed two hits and struck out three batters in his final home game.
Will Patrick collected two of TFC’s three hits on the game and scored the game’s lone run. Josh Hill’s game-winning double was the only other hit in the game for TFC.
Like game one, game two of the double header featured shutout starting pitching from a senior; however, the TFC bats busted loose for five home runs, including three bombs from the bat of slugger Ronnie Stewart.
Starting pitcher Justin Key led off the Eagles attack in the bottom of the first inning with a triple to the right field corner. After Key scored from classmate Josh Ward’s sac fly, Stewart belted his first of three homers to give TFC an early 2-0 lead.
Josh Hill and AJ Mussler scored for the Eagles to double their lead in the second inning, 4-0. Key and Mussler were credited with RBI’s in the inning.
In the third and fifth innings, Stewart belted solo shots to extend TFC’s lead to 6-0 through five innings.
The Hawks scored their first run of the day in the 6th inning off reliever Zach Murdock to cut the Eagles advantage to 6-1. Seniors Russ Pritchett and Justin Key each went yard in the bottom of the 6th inning in nearly identical spots in right field to extend the margin to 9-1. Mussler, who followed Pritchett’s shot with a walk, scored on Key’s fifth homer of the year. Also in the 6th, Stewart came up short in his bid for his fourth homer of the game. Stewart gave it a ride but flew out to center in his final at-bat of the day.
Shorter would tack on two runs in the 7th off reliever Brady McMichael before Josh Hill came to the mound to slam the door on a comeback attempt. In the end, the Eagles homered their way to a 9-3 victory over Shorter in game two.
Key (pictured right), reining National Pitcher of the Year, improved his season mark to 8-1 with five shutout innings with four hits, two walks, and a strikeout. Relievers Murdock and McMichael combined to allow three runs, five hits, two walks in an inning and two-thirds. Josh Hill struck out the only batter he faced.
In addition to earning the win on the mound, Key finished game two 3-4 and scored twice with three RBI’s, a triple, and a homer. Stewart also collected three hits in four at-bats, all of which were solo home runs. Stewart now has 13 home runs on the year, a new TFC record. AJ Mussler scored twice and had a RBI. Seniors Josh Ward and Tyler Sellars each had a hit in three plate appearances. Ward also stole his 32nd base of the season.
The Eagles wrap up their regular season with a record of 30-14. Toccoa will play in the NCCAA region tournament on Thursday at Point University in West Point, Georgia. Thursday’s opponent and game time will be announced on Monday.
Walk-off Grand Slam Sends TFC over Talladega
The TFC Eagles hosted the Talladega College Tornadoes on campus on Monday for a doubleheader. The Tornadoes traveled to Toccoa with a 36-17 record, including a 17-1 mark in their NAIA conference. Additionally, TC had won 11 straight games prior to Monday’s non-conference bout, and held some impressive statistical marks in the NAIA. Talladega was the top NAIA team in batting average, third in slugging percentage, fourth in runs scored, and fifth in both doubles and triples. Ronnie Stewart’s walk-off home run highlighted the day as the Eagles won game one 10-7 against the talented Tornadoes, but dropped game two, 13-7.
Toccoa took the lead in the bottom of the first inning of game one to grab an early 1-0 lead. AJ Mussler walked with the bases loaded and scored Josh Ward from third, who had previously singled.
The Tornadoes answered with four runs in the second inning to hold a 4-1 lead over TFC and freshman pitcher Clay Ogle. The Eagles left the bases full in both the first and second innings, and had stranded 6 men on base after just two innings of play. Talladega added another run in the third, but TFC closed the gap to 5-3 in the bottom of the third inning with two runs of their own.
In its half of the third, Toccoa scored twice off RBI’s from Michael Sneed and Justin Key. Despite Mussler and Tyler Sellars both scoring in the inning, the Eagles once again ended the inning with the bases loaded.<div style=”float: left;”><img alt=”” /><a href=” http://www.tfc.edu/wp-content/uploads/CouillardHRSwingSmall.jpg “><img alt=” CouillardHRSwingSmall ” src=” http://www.tfc.edu/wp-content/uploads/CouillardHRSwingSmall.jpg ” width=”300″ height=”228″ /></a></div>
Jordan Couillard’s (pictured left) third homer of the season cut TC’s lead to 5-4 after four innings. Talladega extended its lead to 7-4 in the top of the fifth inning, but Toccoa responded with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Designated hitter Russ Pritchett led off the inning with a single, and later scored off Ward’s RBI ground out. Justin Key, who doubled earlier in the inning, scored on a wild pitch to cut Talladega’s margin to 7-6.
Reliever Zach Breeden held Talladega scoreless in the 6th and 7th innings, and set the stage for TFC’s final chance to overtake the Tornadoes.
Down to its final two outs, Pritchett walked and was replaced by pinch runner Eric Lusk. Jimmy Walker pinch ran for Sneed after he singled to left to move the tying run into scoring position. After Key struck out, Ward worked a two-out walk to load the bases for slugger Ronnie Stewart. After squandering bases loaded opportunities in the first, second, and third innings, Stewart wasted no time in ending game one. Stewart sent the first pitch he saw (pictured right) over the left field fence for a dramatic walk-off grand slam. The bomb was Stewart’s 9th of the year, and delivered his team-leading 46th RBI of the season. <div style=”float: right;”><img alt=”” /><a href=” http://www.tfc.edu/wp-content/uploads/StewartWalkoffSwing.jpg “><img alt=” StewartWalkoffSwing ” src=” http://www.tfc.edu/wp-content/uploads/StewartWalkoffSwing.jpg ” width=”300″ height=”255″ /></a></div>
Second baseman Josh Ward upped his season average to .354 with another 3-4 outing. Ward scored twice, had a RBI, and stole his 30th base of the season. Mike Sneed was 2-4 with a RBI in the victory.
Breeden took the win from the mound with two and two-thirds of scoreless ball. Breeden allowed a hit, issued a walk, and collected a strikeout. In his first start of the season, Ogle pitched three innings and gave up five runs, five hits, a walk, and a strike out. Reliever Brady McMichael was charged with two runs and four hits in an inning and a third.
Riding high from the dramatic game one victory, the Eagles sought to complete the doubleheader sweep, but the Tornadoes showed no signs of a let down in game two.
After each team scored a run in the first and second innings, Talladega added a run in the top of the third inning. But TFC held a 4-3 margin after three innings of play. Key, Couillard, Ward and Stewart each scored for the Eagles in the opening frames of game two.
Talladega’s Hector Corona and Will Thompson gave the Tornadoes a 5-4 lead with back to back homers in the fifth off starting pitcher Zach Murdock. Talladega added another run in the 6th to hold a 6-4 advantage heading into the bottom of the 6th.
Catcher Michael Sneed led off the 6th with a double down the left field line. His courtesy runner, AJ Mussler, cut the deficit to 6-5 when he scored on Stewart’s RBI single to left.
With the Eagles hoping for another late rally, Talladega exploded for 7 runs in the 7th inning to blow the game wide open, 13-5. In the marathon inning, the Tornadoes sent 12 batters to plate and collected 7 hits.
TFC attempted to mount a comeback in the bottom of the 7th inning. Couillard and Josh Hill each scored a run before a 4-6-3 double play ended the rally and secured the 13-7 defeat of TFC.
Key, the NCCAA’s leader in on base percentage (.537), finished game two 3-5 from the plate with a run scored. As in game one, Sneed again finished 2-4 with a RBI. Josh Hill also contributed two hits with two runs batted in and a run scored.
Starter Zach Murdock was handed the loss for TFC with five innings pitched, 9 hits allowed, five runs, a walk, and two strikeouts. Relievers Josh Ward and Colton Roberts combined for two innings pitched, 8 hits allowed, and 8 runs scored.
The Eagles will conclude their regular season with a home doubleheader on Saturday against Shorter. Saturday will also serve as Senior Day for the Eagles who will exhaust their eligibility after this season. Following the regular season finale, Toccoa will travel to Point University on May 5-8 to participate in the NCCAA region tournament in West Point, Georgia.
<a href=”http://www.tfc.edu/wp-content/uploads/TC-vs-TFC-Box-4-28-14-GM-1.pdf”>Game 1 Box Score</a>
<a href=”http://www.tfc.edu/wp-content/uploads/TC-vs-TFC-Box-4-28-14-GM-2.pdf”>Game 2 Box Score</a>
Toccoa Splits Doubleheader at Milligan
Toccoa Falls traveled to Milligan College on Tuesday afternoon owners of a 13 game winning streak. The Eagles put the streak on the line for games two and three in the season series between the Eagles and Buffaloes (20-21). The Eagles (25-10) rallied from behind to defeat the Buffaloes 5-4 in Toccoa on April 9. In Tuesday’s doubleheader in Johnson City, Tennessee, TFC’s winning streak was snapped in game one, 3-4, but the Eagles rebounded to take game two, 10-0.
The Eagles took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning of game one. Justin Key opened the game with a bunt single, and would later score on a wild pitch. Josh Ward walked, and was driven home by Tyler Sellars’ sac fly for a 2-0 advantage. The Buffaloes got a run back in the bottom of the first, and Toccoa held a 2-1 lead after the opening frame.
Toccoa increased its lead to 3-1 in the second inning. Josh Hill, Ward, and Justin Couillard each singled, and Ronnie Stewart was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to plate Hill from third. Milligan’s starting pitcher Codie Campbell induced an inning ending double play to escape further damage.
Starting pitcher Zach Murdock and the Eagles carried the 3-1 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning. In the Buffaloes’ last chance to tie the game, the home team scored two runs on three consecutive hits to open the inning. Reliever Colton Roberts entered into the game with no outs and the winning run on base. Following a sac bunt, a walk, and a productive out, Milligan had runners runners on second and third with two outs. With the winning run 90 feet away, Roberts got the Milligan hitter to ground out to second baseman Josh Ward to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.
TFC stranded a man on second base in the top of the 8th inning before Milligan’s Corey McPherson walked and was driven home by a walk-off double off the bat of Brandon Malone in the bottom of the 8th.
The late inning loss halted TFC’s winning streak at 13 games. Key helped to lead the Eagles with 3-5 at the plate with a stolen base and a run scored. Ward also recorded three hits in four plate appearances, scored a run, and stole two bases. Josh Hill and Mike Sneed each added two hits, and Hill scored a run in the loss.
Zach Murdock was given a “no decision” after he pitched 6 innings, allowed 6 hits and three earned runs, issued a walk, and struck out two. Colton Roberts took the loss with an inning pitched, one hit allowed, one earned run, and two walks.
TFC’s leading hitter Justin Key took the mound in game two, and looked to help the Eagles rebound quickly after a heartbreaking loss in game one. The TFC offense gave Key a 3-0 lead to work with in third inning.
AJ Mussler and Will Patrick opened the inning with back-to-back doubles. Mussler and Patrick would both come around to score, and Key also scored in the inning to give TFC a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles built an insurmountable lead in the 6th inning and scored 7 times in the frame. In the inning,the Eagles sent 11 batters to the plate, accumulated 5 hits and benefited from a costly Milligan error.
The comfortable 10-0 lead would be all that Key needed from the mound to earn the win. Key earned the complete game shutout and allowed just four hits while striking out 8. Key did not issue a walk on the way to his 6th win of the season (6-1).
Patrick, and Ward each finished game two with two hits. Patrick also scored twice and added three RBI’s. Couillard contributed a run scored and two RBI’s.With two more hits in game two, Key finished a combined 5-7 on the day with a run, a stolen base, and two runs batted in.
Toccoa Falls (26-11) will host NAIA powerhouse Georgia Gwinnett College (41-8) for a three game series on Friday (3:00) and Saturday (1:00 and 3:00). GGC is ranked 6th in the NAIA coaches’ poll, and defeated TFC 13-3 earlier this season.
Eagles Explode Past Truett
The TFC Eagles hosted the Truett-McConnell Bears on Monday in a make-up game from a previously scheduled rain-out. The Eagles defeated the Bears on April 1 in the first game between the two squads, 6-0. Including that game at Truett, the Eagles have won 12 straight games for a 24-10 mark overall. Conversely, the Bears have slumped to a 12-35 record. In Monday’s rematch, the Bears scored first off TFC starting pitcher Dylan Charles but the Eagles offense answered to sweep the season series with Truett-McConnell, 13-3.
Truett-McConnell pushed across two runs in the top of the first inning to jump to a quick 2-0 lead over the home Eagles. Hayden Fleming and Chris Carden scored for the Bears, and each were driven in by Jonathan Wilson’s two out double.
Toccoa answered with four runs in its half of the first, highlighted by first baseman Ronnie Stewart’s 7th homer of the season. Stewart’s moonshot to left scored Justin Key and Jordan Couillard. Will Patrick would tack on an unearned run off TMC’s Josh Smith for a 4-2 lead.
Truett’s McClane Ramey scored another two out run for the Bears to cut TFC’s lead to 4-3 in the top of the second inning. The Eagles answered with another “four spot” in the bottom of the inning to hold a commanding 8-3 advantage. In the second, the Eagles scored four runs but had just two hits in the inning; however, TFC benefited from three walks, two wild pitches and an error.
Charles settled in and faced the minimum in the third and fourth innings before the Eagles added a lone run in the fourth. Tyler Sellars singled to right field and would come around to score after TMC’s second error of the day. Through four innings played, the Eagles held a strong 9-3 grip on the Bears.
In the 6th inning, senior Justin Key put the exclamation point on the day with a two run homer to right field. The lefty’s third homer of the season highlighted the Eagles’ third, four run inning of the game. Michael Sneed, who doubled and barely missed a home run early in the inning, AJ Mussler, and Matt Alligood also scored to put TFC ahead 13-3.
Pitcher Mitchell Donahue relieved Charles in the 7th inning and was helped out of a jam by a fancy 6-4-3 double play. The double play helped to end the game under the ten-run rule, 13-3.
Leadoff hitter Justin Key again led the way for the Eagles and had three hits in five at-bats with three runs, two runs batted in, and a home run. Key upped his average to .457 with the effort. Stewart scored twice and drove in three runs to go with his 1st inning home run. Sneed and Sellars also had multi-hit games for the Eagles, and Sneed had a RBI and Sellars scored in the win. Will Patrick, Russ Pritchett, Josh Hill, Mussler, and Alligood each scored a run for TFC.
Charles earned his 8th win of the season with 6 innings pitched, 8 hits allowed, three earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts. Charles’ season ERA sits at 1.98 after Monday.
The Eagles will travel to Milligan College on Tuesday for a rematch of April 9′s 5-4 victory over Milligan. Tuesday’s doubleheader will begin in Johnson City, Tennessee, at 3:00. Toccoa Falls will return home this weekend for a three game series with Georgia Gwinnett. Friday’s game will begin at 3:00, and Saturday’s doubleheader will start at 1:00.
TFC Completes Season Sweep of Clearwater
The Toccoa Falls baseball team hosted region rivals Clearwater Christian College on April 12 for a doubleheader that concluded the five game season series between the longstanding foes. The Eagles defeated the Cougars on Friday in the opening game of the three game series, 13-3. In Saturday’s doubleheader, the Eagles defeated Clearwater 6-5 and 9-4 to complete the sweep of both the weekend series and the season series.
The visiting Cougars got on the board first in the second inning of game one off TFC starting pitcher Zach Breeden (pictured left).
The Cougars jumped to an early 2-0, but the Eagles took a run back in the third inning. After back-to-back bunt singles to open the third by Justin Key (pictured above) and Josh Ward, three-hole hitter Jordan Couillard bunted again, this time to move both runners into scoring position. Ronnie Stewart, who hit two homers in Friday’s win, continued his hot-hitting with a RBI single left, scoring Key to cut Clearwater’s lead to 2-1.
Josh Hill led off in the fourth inning by getting hit by a pitch, and later scored on Tyler Sellars’ double. Sellars’ two-bagger tied the game at 2-2. Key followed and singled to bring home Sellars and gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead. Josh Ward also doubled and scored Key from second. For the second time in the game, the inning ended with Ward stranded in scoring position. But after four innings played, TFC held a 4-2 advantage.
After TFC reliever Brady McMichael blanked the Cougars in the 6th inning despite facing the bases loaded with no outs, the Eagles extended its lead to 6-2 with two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Clearwater committed two consecutive errors to place Key (pictured right) and Couillard in scoring position with clean-up hitter Ronnie Stewart at the plate. Stewart took advantage of the situation and doubled to right field to score Key and Couillard for his 31st and 32nd RBI’s of the season.
In the top of the 7th, the Cougars loaded the bases with one out, and Joel Felton doubled to left to clear the bases to cut TFC’s margin to 6-5. Representing the tying run, Felton was stranded at second after closer Colton Roberts came on and recorded the final two outs of the game.
Breeden (3-2) earned the win for the Eagles, and pitched five innings with two runs allowed- one earned, scattered four hits, walked two, and recorded three strikeouts. Roberts earned his fourth save of the season with two-thirds of an inning pitched and no runs allowed.
At the plate, lead off hitter Justin Key led the Eagles with two hits in three at-bats, scored two runs, drove in a run, and was hit by a pitch. Stewart finished 2-4 with three runs batted in.
The Eagles offense handed freshman starting pitcher Zack Murdock (pictured left) a 3-0 lead with two homers in the bottom of the first inning. Key opened the scoring in game two with a lead off homer, his second of the year. After Ward singled, Stewart hit his third homer of the series to give TFC an early 3-0 lead.
Toccoa left the bases loaded in the third inning, but upped its lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning. Jimmy Walker and AJ Mussler scored for Toccoa in the fourth, and Key and Ward added RBI’s in the inning.
While Murdock was cruising with a comfortable lead, Key drove in Matt Alligood and Tyler Sellars with a two out single to right field to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead after 5 innings played.
The Cougars scored four runs in the top of the 6th off Murdock to bring TFC’s lead to 7-4. Clearwater’s Emmanuel Chmielewski highlighted the inning with a bases loaded triple to the right field corner.
TFC kept the fireworks going with two runs of its own in the bottom of the 6th to restore its lead, 9-4. Couillard and Stewart scored in the inning, and Mike Sneed and Sellars added RBI’s.
Mussler came on in relief of Murdock and retired Clearwater in order to secure the 9-4 victory. Murdock earned his third win of the season with 6 innings pitched, 9 hits, four earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts.
Justin Key again was the catalyst for the Eagles offense with three more hits to bring his season average to a team-high .450. In the series finale, Key drove in four runs, scored a run, and had a home run in four plate appearances. In the doubleheader, Key was 5-7 with four runs scored and four RBI’s. Stewart added two hits, two runs scored, two runs batted in, a home run, and a stolen base in game two. Josh Ward also had a multi-hit game and was 2-4 with a RBI, a run scored, and two stolen bases.
TFC (28-10) has won 12 straight and 15 of its last 16 games. Truett-McConnell College will travel to Toccoa on Tuesday for 3:00 game. The Eagles will also host Talladega College on Saturday for a doubleheader (1:00 and 3:00).
Ronnie Stewart Leads Eagles Past Clearwater, 13-3
The Toccoa Falls Eagles hosted the Clearwater Christian Cougars (13-19) on Friday in the opening game of a three game weekend series. The long-standing rivals squared off in Clearwater on March 15, and the visiting Eagles swept the doubleheader 3-0 and 4-0 behind shutout pitching performances from starters Dylan Charles and Justin Key. In Friday’s contest, Eagles first baseman Ronnie Stewart (pictured above) and the Eagles surged past the Cougars, 13-3.
Toccoa got on the board in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 1-0. Lead off batter Justin Key drew a walk, stole second base, and advanced to third base on Josh Ward’s fly out to deep center field. Key scored the game’s opening run after Ronnie Stewart reached base off a Clearwater error. Will Patrick and AJ Mussler followed with singles, but the Eagles left the bases loaded and were unable to push across any more runs.
Starting pitcher Dyan Charles entered Friday having not allowed a run to score in 28 consecutive innings, dating back to March 8. In 2013, Charles held a 27 scoreless inning streak, but set a career record in his previous appearance on April 5. Charles’ current streaked ended after 29 1/3 innings. Clearwater scored two earned runs on three hits in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth inning, Key walked for the second time in the game and again stole second. Jordan Couillard followed with a RBI single to center to tie the game, 2-2.
Locked at 2-2, the Eagles offense exploded for 8 runs off six hits in the bottom of the 6th inning to grab a commanding 10-2 lead. Ronnie Stewart highlighted the inning with a two run homer and a two run double later in the inning. Josh Ward drew two walks and scored two runs in the inning, as well. The Eagles sent 12 hitters to the plate and benefited from three Clearwater errors.
Clearwater got a run back in the 7th inning to cut TFC’s advantage to 10-3, but in the 8th, Stewart hit second, two run homer of the day. Stewart’s bomb to left was his fourth homer of the year. The Eagles stranded the bases loaded for the second time of the day, but pushed across three runs in the inning to bring its lead to 13-3.
Dylan Charles (7-4) earned the win with 7 innings pitched, 7 hits allowed, three earned runs, two walks, and 6 strikeouts. Clay Ogle finished the game from the mound, and pitched two scoreless innings and recorded a walk and a strikeout.
The Eagles offense pounded out 16 hits and drew 8 walks. Stewart led the attack with four hits in five plate appearances with two doubles, two home runs, two runs scored, and five runs batted in. Couillard finished the game 3-6 at the plate, two runs scored, and four runs batted in. Key collected two hits, scored three runs, walked three times, and two stolen bases, and Ward scored three runs and drew two walks.
With the win ,Toccoa Falls has now won 10 games in a row and 15 of its last 16 games. The Cougars (13-20) and Eagles (22-10) will complete the season series with a doubleheader that will begin at 1:00 PM.
TFC Extends Winning Streak with Late Inning Rally
The Toccoa Falls College Eagles put their 8 game winning streak on the line on April 9 against the visiting Buffaloes from Milligan College. The Buffaloes traveled to Toccoa with a 17-13 season mark, including an even 9-9 record within their NAIA conference. Milligan most recently lost two of three games at Bryan College last weekend, a team TFC beat twice in three games to open the 2014 season.The Eagles swept Johnson University (FL) on April 4-5 in their most recent action. Toccoa Falls extended its winning streak to 9 games with a 5-4, come from behind victory over Milligan.
The Eagles struck first in the in the fourth inning after both squads were held by scoreless in the opening innings of play. In the fourth, TFC’s Will Patrick (pictured above) hustled out an infield single, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and moved to third base on a fly out to deep right field. Catcher Russ Pritchett earned the game’s first RBI with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Patrick with ease.
TFC’s 1-0 lead was short lived; Milligan’s Cody Hyder leveled the score at 1-1 in the 5th inning with a deep shot to left off TFC’s starting pitcher, Justin Key. In the 5th, the Buffaloes would add another run to take a 2-1 lead over TFC.
Similarly to the lead TFC held momentarily, the Buffaloes’ edge would also be quickly erased. Justin Key helped himself with a lead off walk in the bottom of the 5th inning, and tied the game at 2-2 off a Patrick RBI single to right.
Milligan put a “two spot” on the scoreboard in the 6th inning off reliever Josh Hill to take a 4-2 lead. After a see-saw scoring affair, each side settled in and Milligan held the 4-2 lead when the Eagles came to bat in their half of the 8th inning.
In the 8th, Toccoa Falls scored three runs on four hits. Will Patrick, Jimmy Walker, and AJ Mussler each scored a run, and Tyler Sellars, Key, and Josh Ward were each credited with a run batted in.
Leading 5-4, TFC Coach Justin Pollock called on closer Colton Roberts to seal the win. Roberts allowed a lead off walk and a single, but slammed the door on the Buffaloes’ rally with a crucial strike out and coerced the Buffaloes’ hitter into a soft liner to left field to end the game.
Zack Breeden earned the win for the Eagles in rare bullpen duty, and Roberts’ save was his third of the season. Breeden pitched two innings of relief and allowed two hits, no runs, a walk, and a strike out. Starting pitcher Justin Key was handed a “no decision,” and pitched 5 innings with 7 hits allowed, two earned runs, no walks, and two strikeouts.
Center fielder Will Patrick led the Eagles with a perfect 4-4 from the plate, and scored two runs and had a RBI. Key and Ward each collected two hits for the Eagles. Ward also stole three bases in the win.
Toccoa Falls (21-10) has now won 12 of its last 13 games, including 9 straight victories. The Eagles will host rivals Clearwater Christian College in a three game series on April 11-12. Friday’s game will begin at 3:00 PM, and Saturday’s doubleheader will get underway at 1:00 PM.
Eagles Complete Series Sweep
The TFC Eagles completed a three game series with Johnson University (FL) with a doubleheader on April 5. In the opening game of the series on Friday, the Eagles defeated the Suns 11-6 with two home runs from Ronnie Stewart and another blast from AJ Mussler. In Saturday’s doubleheader, the Eagles completed the series sweep with 7-0 and 12-5 wins over the Suns.
Starting pitcher Dylan Charles (pictured above) took the mound for the Eagles in game one, and handled the Suns with his sharp breaking ball and deceptive fastball. In 6 innings of shutout ball, Charles surrendered 7 hits with one walk and 5 strikeouts. Dating back to the first inning of his start on March 8, Charles has now thrown 28 consecutive innings without allowing a run to score. Charles earned his 30th career win for TFC, and furthered the record for career wins at TFC. In 2014, the lefty is 6-4 with a 1.56 ERA in 57 2/3 innings and has recorded 52 strikeouts thus far this season.
While Charles was attacking the Suns hitters, the Eagles offense was doing its share against Johnson starting pitcher Hansel Lazo. The Eagles loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning before clean up hitter Ronnie Stewart continued his hot hitting with a two run single to past the Suns’ third baseman. Josh Hill also drove in a run for the Eagles in the inning, and Justin Key, Josh Ward, and Jordan Couillard each scored a run.
The top of the Eagles line up again loaded the bases in the fourth inning. Will Patrick and Hill recorded RBI’s, and Key and Couillard scored again for the Eagles. After four innings, TFC owned a comfortable 5-0 lead.
The Eagles would score their final two runs of the game in the 6th inning. Tyler Sellars and Russ Pritchett (pictured right) recorded RBI’s. Stewart and Hill crossed the plate in the inning.
Clay Ogle came on to record the final three outs of the game, and retired the Suns with a shutout inning to secure the 7-0 win.
Leadoff hitter Justin Key was 2-4 at the plate with two runs scored and a stolen base. Stewart finished 2-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored. Josh Hill was 2-4 and also had two runs batted in and a run scored. Catcher Russ Pritchett went 3-3 with a RBI and a walk. Will Patrick and Tyler Sellars also contributed two hits apiece.
Colton Roberts, who usually occupies the closer slot on the TFC pitching staff, made his first start of the year in the series finale. The Suns struck first with two runs in the second inning, but were answered by two runs from the Eagles in their half of the inning. Johnson scored three runs in the fourth inning to chase Roberts out of the game and take a 5-2 lead. Despite allowing just two hits, Roberts was charged with 5 runs- four earned, 8 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
The Eagles’ hitters again answered the call and struck for two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, to cut the Suns lead to 5-4 after four innings.
Reliever Brady McMichael settled the game down in the top of the 5th inning before Toccoa exploded for 8 runs in the bottom half to soar to a 12-5 margin. In the inning, the Eagles sent 12 batters to the plate and accumulated 6 hits.
Josh Ward relieved McMichael for the 7th inning after McMichael threw two and two-thirds innings and allowed one hit, one walk, no runs, and three strikeouts. In the 7th, Ward closed the series with a hit allowed and a strikeout.
Each position starter for TFC scored a run in the win, led by three runs from Russ Pritchett and two runs scored by AJ Mussler. Pritchett finished game two with three hits and a RBI in three plate appearances. Pritchett (.367 avg) completed the doubleheader with a perfect 6-6 at the plate with two RBI’s, a run scored and a walk.
TFC has won 11 of its last 9 ball games, including 8 consecutive wins. Toccoa Falls look to extend the winning streak against Milligan College at home on April 9 for a mid-week, non-conference game (3:00 PM) before hosting rivals Clearwater Christian College for a three game series on April 11-12. Friday’s game will be at 3:00, and Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 1:00.
Stewart, Mussler, and the Eagles Power Past Johnson
The baseball team at Toccoa Falls College hosted the Suns from Johnson University (FL) on April 4 in the first game of a three game weekend series. The Suns have struggled in the midst of a transition year against a difficult schedule, while the Eagles had previously won 8 of their last 9 games prior to Friday’s conference showdown. The Eagles used the long ball on Friday to both jump to an early lead and to hold off the surging Suns, 11-6.
Both squads placed runners on base in the opening frame, but it was not until the bottom of the second inning that the Eagles were able to jump to an early 6-0 advantage. In the inning, designated hitter AJ Mussler (pictured below left, crossing the plate) and first baseman Ronnie Stewart each hit massive two run shots over the left field scoreboard.
Mussler’s line drive home run was the first of his TFC career. Stewart’s second inning home run was his second of the week and his second of the year. Shortstop Jordan Couillard also had a double in the second inning that plated two runs.
The Suns clawed back with four runs in the fourth inning, another run in the 6th, and tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the 7th inning. Having watched a 6-0 lead turn into a 6-6 tie, Toccoa Falls answered in its half of the 7th inning, highlighted by Stewart’s second home run of the game.
Stewart’s shot to left-center field propelled the Eagles to a five run inning and the final 11-6 margin of victory.
In addition to registering his first career home run, AJ Mussler earned his first win of the season from the mound. Mussler pitched the final three innings with three hits allowed, one earned run, no walks and three strikeouts. At the plate, Mussler record a sacrifice fly and three RBI’s to go with his second inning blast.
Ronnie Stewart (pictured right, #4) led the Eagles offensively, and was 3-5 at the plate with two home runs and four RBI’s. Justin Key finished 2-5 with a run, a RBI, and a stolen base. Couillard also recorded a 2-5 day with a double, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Will Patrick scored two runs in the win, and Josh Ward, Josh Hill, and Jimmy Walker each scored a run for the Eagles.
Toccoa has now won 9 of its last 10 games and own an 18-10 record on the year. TFC and Johnson University will conclude the series on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1:00.
Eagles Sweep Reinhardt in Doubleheader
Toccoa Falls College baseball hosted Reinhardt University on April 2 for a doubleheader. Reinhardt traveled to Toccoa with a 26-13 mark, including an 11-4 conference record. After Reinhardt swept Bryan College last week, the visiting Eagles sat in first place in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA). The TFC Eagles had most recently defeated Truett-McConnell 6-0 on Tuesday. In Wednesday’s action, timely hitting and clutch defense secured the doubleheader sweep for Toccoa Falls, 4-2 and 8-7.
Reinhardt struck first in game one with two runs in the third inning off TFC starting pitcher Zach Murdock. Trailing 2-0, Toccoa Falls responded quickly in its half of the inning. Tyler Sellars and Russ Pritchett led off with consecutive singles. Justin Key (pictured left) cleared the bases and gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead with a high, home run to right field.
TFC added an unearned, insurance run in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Josh Ward (pictured above) hustled out a seemingly routine ground ball and forced a Reinhardt error. With a 4-2 lead, reliever Brady McMichael protected the Eagles advantage and gave way to closer Colton Roberts in the 7th inning.
In his first action since an upper arm injury, Roberts found himself in hot water in the 7th inning. Reinhardt’s first two hitters of the inning reached safely, and the visiting Eagles looked primed to tie the game. After a harmless fly out to left field, Reinhardt’s Chris Smith hit the ball on the nose but right at TFC shortstop Jordan Couillard. Couillard quickly flipped to Ward at second base for the game ending double play.
Freshman Zach Murdock earned his second career win for Toccoa with three and two-thirds innings, three hits, two earned runs, three walks, and a strikeout. McMichael’s relief appearance provided a crucial two and one-third innings and allowed two hits, a walk, and a strikeout. Roberts earned the save with one inning pitched, one hit, and a walk.
At the plate, Ward recorded two of TFC’s five total hits and a RBI. Key finished 1-2 with a homer, three runs batted in, and two walks.
Game one hero Justin Key was given the start on the mound for the Eagles in the day’s second game. A leadoff single and a hit-and-run double gave Reinhardt an early 1-0 lead before Key could record an out. Reinhardt would add two more runs in the opening frame for a quick 3-0 lead.
As would be the storyline in game two, TFC quickly responded with runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Key led off with a single down the right field line. Ronnie Stewart’s deep fly ball just missed leaving the park, but was deep enough to bounce off the wall and score Key. Josh Hill followed, and drove in Stewart with a single to left.
Reinhardt answered with two more runs in the second, and held a 5-2 lead after an inning and a half of play. In the bottom of the inning, Josh Ward continued his clutch hitting and singled in Jimmy Walker to cut Reinhardt’s advantage to 5-3.
After a rocky first two innings, Key settled in and the TFC bats continued to chip away at Reinhardt’s lead. Ronnie Stewart (pictured right), who barely missed a home run in his previous at-bat, did not miss the first pitch of the third inning and sent a towering bomb over the scoreboard behind the left field fence. In the fourth, AJ Mussler scored as a result of a Reinhardt error and tied the game, 5-5. Another Ward RBI single capped the comeback in the 5th inning to put TFC ahead for the first time, 6-5.
In the 6th, Reinhardt’s Dusty Davis tied the game at 6-6 with a two-out shot to straight away center off TFC’s Josh Hill. Toccoa Falls again rallied with two outs in its half of the 6th. Tray Hill restored TFC’s lead with a pinch hit RBI single to center that scored Will Patrick and put the Eagles ahead, 7-6.
Reinhardt’s Jeremy Burns opened the 7th inning with a deep blast to left that tied the game for the third time, 7-7. Reinhardt pushed the go-ahead runner into scoring position, but were unable to retake the lead in the inning.
Catcher Russ Pritchett opened the Eagles’ half of the 7th with a walk, and freshman Jimmy Walker replaced Pritchett on the basepath. Mussler and Key reached safely to load the bases with no outs. With the Reinhardt infield drawn in for a play at the plate, Josh Ward chopped a 1-1 pitch into the ground that left Reinhardt’s second baseman no chance to retire Walker from third. Ward’s walk off, infield single gave TFC the 8-7 win.
In the doubleheader, Ward was 5-7 with four runs batted in, two sacrifice bunts, a double, and a stolen base. Ward also made several nice plays defensively and saved a run in the 5th inning that would have padded Reinhardt’s lead.
Despite struggling from the mound, Justin Key helped himself by going 3-5 with a run scored. Russ Pritchett and Josh Hill had two hits apiece, and Josh Hill drove in two runs. Hill also earned the win from the mound. Ronnie Stewart finished with two hits, two runs scored, and two runs batted in. Freshman Jimmy Walker scored three runs including the game winner.
Toccoa Falls will host Johnson University (FL) on Friday and Saturday as part of TFC’s Campus Preview weekend. Friday’s game will begin at 3:00, and Saturday’s doubleheader will get underway at 1:00.
Dylan Charles and the Eagles Overpower Truett
Hampered by three consecutive rain-outs, the TFC Eagles took to the diamond on Tuesday for the first time in two weeks , andtraveled to nearby Truett-McConnell College for an out-of-conference matinee. The TMC Bears had most recently earned a series win against NAIA’s 18th ranked Union College. TFC’s Dylan Charles and Justin Key each throw shutouts in a doubleheader sweep at Clearwater Christian on March 17 in TFC’s most recent action. Despite the long layoff, Charles and the Eagles picked up where they left off and defeated Truett-McConnell, 6-0.
With Charles (pictured above) and TMC’s Jared Oliver locked in a pitchers duel, the Eagles broke a scoreless deadlock in the 6th inning and took a 2-0 over Truett. In the inning, Ronnie Stewart led off with a double, and Will Patrick walked with one out. Stewart and Patrick each advanced into scoring position after a TMC wild pitch. Third baseman Tyler Sellars’ sacrifice fly to right field scored Stewart and advanced Patrick to third. Will Patrick would score an unearned run following an error by Truett’s pitcher for the Eagles’ second run of the inning.
In the 7th inning, designated hitter Russ Pritchett walked and stole second base, and was moved to third on Justin Key’s ground out to first base. Josh Ward brought Pritchett home with a sacrifice fly to center to give TFC a 3-0 advantage.
The Eagles added three runs in the 9th inning to build a commanding 6-0 lead. Mike Sneed, Pritchett, and Key each scored a run in the 9th inning, and Ward and Stewart collected RBI’s.
Despite posting 6 runs on the afternoon, the Eagles collected just three hits, but stole 7 bases and drew 9 walks off the TMC pitching staff. Individually, Josh Ward collected two RBI’s and three stolen bases in Tuesday’s victory. Russ Pritchett was walked three times and stole two bases.
While the Eagles offense sputtered, starting pitcher Dylan Charles was sharp and in complete command of his arsenal of pitches.
The senior southpaw from Habersham Central High School scattered four hits and three walks in the outing, and was credit with the complete game, 9 innings, no runs allowed, and a career-high 14 strikeouts. Since allowing a first inning run to Hiwassee College on March 8, Charles has not allowed a run in 22 consecutive innings. TFC’s career leader with 29 wins, Charles holds a 5-4 record and a 1.74 ERA thus far in 2014.
Toccoa will return home on Wednesday for a doubleheader against NAIA powerhouse Reinhardt College (1:00 and 3:00 PM). On April 4-5, the Eagles will welcome Johnson University (FL) to campus for a three game series. Friday’s game will begin at 3:00, and Saturday’s doubleheader will be played at 1:00 and 3:00.
Eagles Use Starting Pitching to Sweep Clearwater
The TFC Eagles baseball team traveled to rival Clearwater Christian College for a doubleheader on March 15. The Eagles had won three of its last four games for a 12-10 mark prior to Saturday. The Cougars from CCC had won 5 of its 7 previous games and held a 9-13 record. The Eagles swept both games of Saturday’s doubleheader 3-0 and 4-0 behind complete game shutouts from starting pitchers Dylan Charles and Justin Key.
TFC’s Dylan Charles (left) started game one for the Eagles, and dominated the Cougars throughout. The Cougars collected just four hits in the game and were unable to place more than one runner on base at a time. After stranding a runner on third base in the third inning, Charles sat down the Cougars in successive order until a leadoff single in the 7th inning. Following the single from CCC’s Matt Schaefer, TFC’s second baseman Josh Ward snagged a line drive and recorded an unassisted double play to end Clearwater’s hopes of a comeback. Charles finished the complete game shutout with 7 innings pitched, four hits, one walk, and 8 strikeouts.
The Eagles offense mustered 7 hits against CCC’s ace Stephen Martin. TFC got on the board in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Josh Hill doubled to lead off the inning, and Tylers Sellars followed and was hit by a pitch. After Will Patrick advanced the runners into scoring position, Hill scored an unearned run following an error by the Clearwater shortstop.
TFC increased its lead to 3-0 in the 5th inning with runs scored by Eric Lusk and Justin Key. Josh Ward and Jordan Couillard were each credited with a RBI in the inning.
With a 3-0 lead and Charles cruising from the mound, the Eagles finished off the Cougars for the win in game one of the doubleheader.
Like fellow southpaw Dylan Charles, Justin Key (right) was masterful from the mound in game two and also recorded a complete game shutout.
TFC scored three runs in the third inning off CCC starter Kyle Leja for a 3-0 lead. Stewart, Couillard, and Will Patrick each had a RBI in the inning. Key, Ward, and Couillard each crossed the plate for TFC.
Catcher Russ Pritchett led off the fourth inning with a triple, and would later score TFC’s fourth run of the game from a Ward RBI single.
Key earned his 5th win of the season (5-1) with a complete game shutout and allowed three hits, a walk, and 6 strikeouts.
Eagles second baseman Josh Ward went 4-7 on the day with two RBI’s and a run scored.
With Saturday’s sweep of the Cougars, TFC improves its season mark to 14-10 at the midway point of the season. The Eagles will remain in Florida and play at Southeastern University in Lakeland on Monday at 4:00 PM.
Toccoa Falls and Emmanuel Split Doubleheader
Toccoa Falls College hosted nearby rivals Emmanuel College for a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Lions, NAIA members of the Southern States Athletic Conference, made the short trip to Toccoa with a 10-11 record. TFC had most recently taken two of three games from Hiwassee College for an 11-9 record. In Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Eagles and Lions split the victories with TFC winning 6-0 in game one and Emmanuel taking game two 7-4.
Freshman Zach Murdock (pictured above) made his second career start from the mound for the Eagles in game one. After being touched up in his first start against Bluefield College last week, Murdock retired the Lions in order to start the game, and was given a 2-0 lead in the Eagles’ half of the first inning.
Justin Key and Josh Ward led off with successive singles and advanced into scoring position with a successful double steal. Three-hole hitter Jordan Couillard put the Eagles ahead with a double to left field. Couillard would eventually be stranded on third base, but his double provided Murdock an early 2-0 lead.
Both sides left runners on base in the second and third innings, and Murdock helped himself out of a jam in the fourth inning with a pick off play to second base. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, TFC blew the game open with four hits and four runs. In the important inning, AJ Mussler, Ward, Key, and Couillard scored for TFC.
With a 6-0 lead, Murdock retired the final 7 Emmanuel hitters in order to record his for collegiate win. Murdock recorded a complete game shutout with 7 innings, 6 hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Of Murdock, Coach Justin Pollock said, “He’s a competitor. He fought hard, kept the ball down, and was in complete control of the game.”
At the plate, Josh Hill, Ward and Couillard each recorded two hits in the victory. Key and Ward also scored two runs a piece. Couillard added a run and two RBI’s. Ronnie Stewart contributed a hit, two walks, two stolen bases, and a run scored.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Lions scored two runs off three hits in the first inning off TFC starting pitcher Josh Hill.
The Eagles also put a “two spot” on the board in the first inning. As in game one, Key and Ward singled to open the inning. Key would later score on a wild pitch, and Ward crossed the plate off a Stewart RBI single to center.
The Lions pushed across 5 runs in the third inning and benefited from a costly TFC error which would have mitigated the damage. Through four and a half innings of action in game two, EC continued to hold a 7-2 advantage.
Refusing to quit, TFC showed resilience in the 5th inning and cut the deficit to 7-4. Ward and Stewart scored unearned runs for TFC after Emmnauel’s second baseman dropped a towering pop up. However, the Eagles could not muster a hit in the 6th and 7th innings and were defeated 7-4 by Emmanuel.
Brady McMichael and Clay Ogle combined for four and one-third innings of scoreless relief for TFC. Ward finished game two with 2-4 at the plate and two runs scored. Stewart also collected two hits and a RBI.
The Eagles (12-10) will travel to Clearwater Christian College for a doubleheader on Saturday (1:00 and 3:00). TFC will remain in Florida and play at Southeastern University on Monday at 4:00.
Eagles Earn Series Win at Hiwassee
The Toccoa Falls Eagles traveled to Hiwassee College in Tennessee on March 7-8 for a three game series against the Tigers. Hiwassee entered the weekend series with a 9-9-1 record while TFC owned a 9-8 mark as they traveled north. The home side took the first game of the series with Toccoa by a 6-1 margin. However, the Eagles bounced back and swept Saturday’s doubleheader to win the series, 8-1 and 12-2.
In Friday’s series opener, the Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when TFC’s Josh Hill smacked a solo homer to left. Hill’s fireworks would the only offense TFC could muster on the day against Hiwassee’s starting pitcher and his sharp curveball. TFC’s starting pitcher, Zack Breeden, was also sharp, save the bottom of the third inning.
Trailing 1-0 to TFC, Hiwassee scored four runs in the bottom of the third off four hits and two walks. Through three innings played, HC held a 4-1 lead over TFC. Hiwassee would add two unearned runs in the 7th inning, and was the benefactor of two TFC errors. The 6-1 lead Hiwassee held through 7 innings would be enough to hold on for the victory.
Breeden took the loss for TFC and finished the day with 6 1/3 innings pitched, 6 runs, four earned runs, three walks, and three strikeouts. AJ Mussler and Clay Ogle combined for one and two-thirds innings of hitless relief.
TFC handed the ball to Dylan Charles in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader with Hiwassee. “Dylan had his best stuff of the season,” said TFC head coach Justin Pollock. “Certainly, Saturday was his best fastball so far.”
The Eagles handed Charles a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Josh Ward, Jordan Couillard, and Ronnie Stewart reached base safely, and with one out, Josh Hill brought Ward home safely with an RBI ground out.
The Tigers evened the game at 1-1 in their half of the first inning with a two-out RBI from the Tigers’ clean up hitter. Despite allowing two, two-out hits, Charles struck out the side in the inning.
Toccoa retook a 2-1 lead in the third inning when Tray Hill singled and scored Couillard from third. Couillard had walked, stole second, and advanced to third base on a pass ball.
With Charles dealing on the mound, TFC took a 5-1 lead in the 5th inning. Josh Hill and Will Patrick singled, and both would score off a Justin Key (pictured above) RBI single to right field on an 0-2 count. Key would later score from a Josh Ward RBI bunt single.
TFC would grab its final three runs of the game in the 7th inning. After Mike Sneed, Key, and Ward reached safely, Couillard cleared the bases with a three run double to give TFC the final 8-1 victory.
Charles earned the win for TFC to improve his season mark to 3-4. The southpaw now holds a 2.52 ERA on the season with 25 strikeouts. On Saturday, Charles pitched a complete game, 7 innings with 6 hits, one earned run, two walks, and 8 strikeouts.
Ward, Key, and Couillard contributed two hits apiece for TFC. Key had two RBI’s, and Couillard added three RBI’s, a double, and a stolen base.
With TFC and Hiwassee both holding one win in the series, Coach Pollock sent Justin Key to the mound in the third and final game of the weekend. The Eagles again used offensive fireworks and stifling starting pitching to overpower the Tigers.
Hiwassee took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and threatened to score more with the bases loaded, two outs, and the Tigers’ cleanup hitter at the plate. Key coerced the Hiwassee slugger into a pop up on a first-pitch change up to escape without further damage.
TFC got a run back in the third inning. Catcher Mike Sneed doubled and scored on a Key RBI single. In the following inning, the Eagles exploded for 11 runs in the fourth inning. In the inning, TFC totaled four hits and benefitted from five walks and two hit-by-pitches. Josh Hill continued his red-hot hitting with a bases loaded, three run double in the inning. Catapulted by the massive inning, the Eagles cruised to a 12-1 win and took the series from Hiwassee.
Key coasted to the win for TFC and improved his record to 4-1 on the season. Key went 5 innings and allowed 6 hits, two earned runs, a walk and three strikeouts. Brady McMichael threw a scoreless inning in relief of Key.
In addition to excelling on the mound for TFC, Key also had two hits and two RBI’s in the game, and increased his season average to .380 from the plate. Will Patrick also had two runs batted in for TFC, and Mike Sneed added a double and a RBI. Shortstop Jordan Couillard had two hits, two runs, and a RBI.
Including the Bluefield series, Couillard finished the week with 9-18 (.500) at the plate with four runs scored, a double, a homerun, two stolen bases and 7 RBI’s.
The Eagles will host nearby rivals Emmanuel College for a doubleheader on March 11 (1:00 and 3:00). TFC will travel to Florida for a doubleheader hosted by region foes Clearwater Christian College (1:00 and 3:00) on March 15. While in Florida, TFC will face Southeastern University on March 17 before returning to Toccoa.
TFC Swept by Bluefield
The TFC Eagles hosted the Bluefield College Rams in an out-of-conference doubleheader on Wednesday. Both sides entered Wednesday’s clash riding winning streaks. Toccoa swept Bethel College over the weekend in a four game series, and Bluefield had reeled off 11 consecutive wins after dropping its first two games of the season. Bluefield extended its winning streak to 13 games and ended Toccoa’s good run by sweeping Wednesday’s doubleheader, 9-2 and 7-2.
The Eagles scored first on the day and took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. TFC loaded the bases with one out after Justin Key, Jordan Couillard, and Will Patrick each singled. Clean up hitter Ronnie Stewart singled to left to score Key from third base. Josh Hill and Tyler Sellars were retired to end the bases loaded threat.
Bluefield scored twice in the second inning to gain a 2-1 edge off TFC starting pitcher Dylan Charles, but TFC tied the game at 2-2 in the third inning. The Eagles again loaded the bases with just one out, but TFC’s only run of the inning came when Will Patrick scored from a pass ball.
The Rams would go on to score a run in the fourth, two in the 5th, and and four more runs in the 7th inning to take game one 9-2 over TFC. After tying the game in the third inning, the Eagles would only gain two more hits off the BC pitching staff during the remaining innings.
TFC’s Dylan Charles, Brady McMichael, and AJ Mussler were each charged with three earned runs in the loss.
At the plate, Key, Couillard, and Josh Hill each finished with two hits. The Eagles stranded 9 runners on base, compared to just three runners left on base for Bluefield.
The second game of the day followed a similar blueprint as game one. Toccoa Falls again scored in the first inning for an early 1-0 lead. Justin Key tripled and later scored on Jordan Couillard’s RBI single to center.
Couillard led off the third inning with a deep shot to left center for his second RBI of the game.
Leading 2-0, TFC starting pitcher Zach Murdock was tagged for a total of 7 runs (6 earned) in the fourth and fifth innings. Similar to game one, TFC struggled to bring runners in to score after reaching base. Trailing 7-2, Toccoa left 6 runners on base over the final four innings. In the two games combined, TFC left 19 runners on base while BC stranded 8.
Tyler Sellars and Ronnie Stewart each accumulated two hits for TFC, and Couillard finished game two 3-4 with two RBI’s, a home run and a stolen base.
Murdoch took the loss for TFC with 5 innings pitched, 7 runs, 6 earned runs, and a walk. Colton Roberts did not give up a hit in two innings of relief for TFC, but did have two walks and a strikeout.
Toccoa Falls will travel to Hiwassee College for a three game series on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s action will begin at 2:00, and Saturday’s doubleheader will be played at 12:00 and 2:00. TFC will return home for a “double dip” with Emmanuel College on March 11 at 1:00 and 3:00.
Eagles Downed by North Greenville
The TFC Eagles and the North Greenville Crusaders squared off on February 22 for the second time in three days. Last Thursday, the Eagles hosted NGU and hit four home runs in a 12-2 victory. At North Greenville on Saturday, TFC fell behind in the first inning and lost to NGU, 7-1.
Freshman starter pitcher Mitchell Donahue took the ball for the Eagles in their third fourth game of the week. After TFC came up empty in the top half of the first inning, NGU scored 6 earned runs in its half of the inning to jump to an early 6-0 lead. The Crusaders added a run off long-reliever Zach Murdock in the third, but would not score again for the rest of the game.
The Eagles struggled at the plate against NGU’s starter, Allen Stanton. With a 7-0 lead, Stanton attacked the TFC hitters and finished the complete game with 7 innings, three hits, two walks, and 13 strikeouts.
TFC’s Tray Hill (pictured above) broke Stanton’s shutout bid in the 6th inning with a solo shot to right field. The home run was Hill’s third of the season and second against NGU in as many games.
Following a rocky first inning, TFC’s bullpen of Murchdock, Josh Hill, and Josh Ward combined to pitch 5.1 innings and allowed 5 hits, an earned run, two walks, and three strikeouts.
The Eagles will play a midweek game at Georgia Gwinnett on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM. Bethel College will travel to Toccoa for a weekend series with doubleheaders on both Friday and Saturday. Friday’s games will begin at 1:00 and 3:00, and Saturday’s games will be at 12:00 and 2:00. Living streaming will not be available for the Bethel series while TFC hosts the women’s basketball region tournament.
TFC Swept by Point
Toccoa Falls College hosted Point University for a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. The Point Skyhawks (NAIA) held a 5-4 record coming into Friday’s contests, whereas TFC owned a 5-2 mark. In both games of Friday’s doubleheader, TFC fell behind in the top of the first inning and could not come from behind. TFC was swept by Point University in the doubleheader, 8-2 and 6-4.
Point scored three runs in the first and added 5 runs in the second inning to take a commanding 8-0 over TFC in the opening game of Friday’s action. TFC got on the board in the fourth inning with an unearned run scored by Josh Ward. Ward would score again in the 6th inning to cut the deficit to 8-2, but a double play in the 7th inning ended TFC’s hopes for a late rally.
Zach Breeden took the loss for TFC, and allowed 5 earned runs and three hits in an inning of action. Clay Ogle pitched three and two-thirds inning of relief, and was charged with three runs on four hits allowed. After the tumultuous first two innings, the Eagles pitching staff settled in and blanked the Skyhawks over the final five innings. Zach Murdock and AJ Mussler combined for two and one-third innings of scoreless ball with each pitcher allowing a lone hit.
TFC tallied just four hits off Point’s starting pitcher Harrison Pollard. Pollard earned the win with two runs, one earned, four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. Ryan Skinner finished game one from the mound for the Skyhawks.
Game two on Friday followed a similar blueprint for success for Point. The Skyhawks loaded the bases in the first inning before the Eagles could record an out. With the bases loaded, a TFC throwing error allowed Point to plate two runs for an early 2-0 lead. Starting pitcher Justin Key pitched around two errors in the inning without allowing further damage.
TFC answered in its half of the first as Ronnie Stewart led off with a single to center. Stewart would advance to third base following a Ward sacrifice bunt and Will Patrick’s fly out to deep right. With two outs, Jordan Couillard walked, and Josh Hill followed with a RBI single to center. Couillard and Hill would be stranded on base, but Hill’s RBI single put TFC on the board, 2-1.
Point added a run in the third and two more in the fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead over TFC. However, the Eagles responded with two runs of their own in the fifth inning. Stewart again led off the inning with a single and stole second to get into scoring position. Will Patrick drove in Stewart from second with a single to right field. Patrick would later score on Josh Hill’s second RBI single of the game. After 5 innings, Point held a 5-3 edge over TFC.
The Skyhawks added an insurance run in the 6th inning before TFC also plated a run in the 6th. TFC’s Eric Lusk scored the final run of the game with two outs in the inning off an error by Point’s second basemen. Trailing 6-4, TFC was retired in order in the 7th inning.
Ronnie Stewart led the Eagles at the plate in game two with two hits, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Will Patrick added an RBI and scored a run, and Josh Hill recorded two hits and two RBI’s in the loss. Pitcher Justin Key allowed 8 hits, 6 runs, and 5 earned runs with a walk and 5 strikeouts in 7 innings.
TFC will travel to North Greenville on Saturday for a 3:00 game. On February 20, TFC topped NGU 12-2 behind home runs from Russ Pritchett (2), Tray Hill, and Josh Hill.
Eagles Hit Four Bombs to Top North Greenville
The TFC Eagles hosted North Greenville on Thursday in the season’s home opener. North Greenville traveled to Toccoa with a 1-6 record while the Eagles owned a 4-2 mark prior to Thursday. With the help of effective starting pitching and power at the plate, the Eagles topped the visiting Crusaders 12-2.
After the Crusaders stranded a runner in the top of the first inning, the Eagles took an early 1-0 in textbook fashion. Leadoff hitter Ronnie Stewart singled and advanced into scoring position courtesy of Josh Ward’s sacrifice bunt. Will Patrick followed with a single to right-center and scored Stewart from second. Patrick would be stranded in scoring position, but his RBI single would ignite TFC’s best offensive output this season.
Starting pitcher Dylan Charles pitched his way out of jams in the second and third innings to keep TFC in front 1-0. In their turn in the third, Russ Pritchett (pictured above), Stewart and Ward reached safely to load the bases with no outs. Will Patrick collected his second and third RBI’s of the game with a single down the right field line. On the play, Pritchett and Stewart scored, and Ward advanced to third base. Ward would later score from a Justin Key RBI single. Through three innings, TFC led the Crusaders 4-0.
After allowing 5 Crusaders to reach safely in the first three innings, Dylan Charles settled in and allowed just three base runners over his final three innings. Charles gave way to reliever Brady McMichael after 6 innings pitched, four hits allowed, five walks, three strike outs, and no runs allowed.
Toccoa Falls had used “small ball” to build a 4-0 through 5 innings played. In the 6th, the Eagles demonstrated their ability to hit the long ball as well. After Tyler Sellars walked to open the inning, freshman Tray Hill (pictured right) hit his second home run of the season to deep left-center field. Russ Pritchett followed and smacked his first homer of the season. After Tray Hill and Pritchett hit back-to-back home runs, the Eagles held a comfortable 7-0 lead.
TFC extended its lead to 9-0 in the 7th after Josh Hill hit a two-run homer. The Crusaders would get on the board in the 8th to cut TFC’s lead to 9-2, but the Eagles’ bats would answer to squash any attempt at a late rally. Russ Pritchett highlighted the 8th inning with his second home run of the day, part of an inning in which TFC scored three runs and extended its lead to 12-2. McMichael retired the Crusaders in the 9th to record the three-inning save.
Led by Russ Pritchett’s two home runs, the Eagles exploded for 12 runs on 13 hits in the comfortable win over NGU. Pritchett finished 2-3 with three runs scored and two RBI’s. Tray Hill and Josh Hill (pictured above left) also homered for the Eagles. Ronnie Stewart finished 3-4 at the plate with three runs scored. Will Patrick added three hits and drove in three runs.
Toccoa Falls will host Point University on Friday in a double header that will begin at 1:00 PM. The double header with Point University will be streamed live. On Saturday, TFC will travel to North Greenville as the Crusaders will look to even the score from Thursday. Saturday’s game at NGU will begin at 3:00 PM.
Eagles Take Two at Southern Wesleyan
The baseball team at Toccoa Falls traveled to Southern Wesleyan University on February 7-8 for a three game series. Last weekend at Bryan College, the Eagles lost Friday’s matchup, but rebounded to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader in its only series of the short season. SWU also entered into the weekend with a 2-1 record, having taken two of three against Bluefield College. In the weekend series between the south region opponents, TFC dropped Friday’s game 10-0, but swept Saturday’s doubleheader 5-3 and 7-5, just as the Eagles had done against Bryan.
Dylan Charles took the ball for the Eagles in Friday’s contest. Last weekend at Bryan, Charles pitched well, but was given the loss despite not allowing an earned run. SWU took the lead off Charles in the bottom of the first, and added three runs in the fourth to jump to a 4-0 lead. The Eagles struggled against SWU starting pitcher Matt Craig. Of Craig, Coach Justin Pollock said, “He [Craig] is one of the better guys we’ll face this season. He kept us off balanced, and we failed to make any adjustments at the plate.” Craig scattered four hits in 7 shutout innings. For TFC, freshman Clay Ogle replaced Charles in the bottom of the 6th inning, and struggled to get the Eagles out of a tight spot. The Warriors plated four runs in the inning, and blew the game open for a 10-0 advantage. Against the Warriors, Charles took the loss for the Eagles, but pitched better than his final stat line reflected. “Charles pitched well on Friday, but gave up a lot of soft hits. And the offense certainly did not help him out at all,” said Coach Pollock.
Shortstop Jordan Couillard led off the second inning of Saturday’s first game with a double to left-center field. After Zack Warner (pictured above) moved Couillard to third base with a single, Josh Hill’s sacrifice fly to right-center field gave the Eagles an early 1-0 lead; its first lead of the series.
TFC would double its lead in the third inning when Ronnie Stewart walked and scored after a Josh Ward single and a wild pitch.
The Warriors would tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third off starting pitcher Zach Breeden. In the inning, SWU scored two runs, off three hits, and stranded two runners on base.
In the 6th inning, Warner walked and Josh Hill doubled for runners in scoring position and no outs. Jimmy Walker’s sacrifice fly scored Warner to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead. Hill was stranded in scoring position, but represented an important insurance run the Eagles would have had liked to have scored.
Leading 3-2 in last and final inning, Colton Roberts came to the mound in hopes of earning the save. Roberts walked the leadoff hitter, who would later score the tying run off a SWU double. With the game tied at 3-3, Roberts buckled down, and stranded the game-winning run on third base.
After a scoreless 8th and 9th innings, the Eagles scored two runs in the 10th despite opening the inning with back to back strike outs. Josh Hill walked and Jimmy Walker singled and Hill later scored on the wild pitch during Justin Key’s at bat. On the wild pitched, Walker moved up to second base, and would score on Key’s single to right. The Eagles’ two out rally put TFC in front 5-3.
Zach Murdock came on for TFC in the bottom half of the 10th and retired SWU 1-2-3 for his first save of the season.
In the win, Justin Key was the lone Eagle with a multi-hit game. Key finished 2-5 with a RBI. Jimmy Walker was 1-3 with a run scored and a run batted in. Ronnie Stewart, Zack Warner, and Josh Hill also scored for TFC. Josh Ward added a hit and two stolen bases.
The bullpen allowed a lone run in 5 innings of work. Brady McMichael pitched two scoreless innings, and Colton Roberts bounced back to earn the win. Coach Pollock said of starting pitcher Zach Breeden and the team, “I was very proud of the team for not quitting and battling through some adversity. It was great to see Breeden pitch well after struggling at Bryan. It was a good team win. Not one guy really stood out; we just found a way to win in the 10th. That’s a great way to win games.”
Justin Key took the mound in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, and allowed two first inning runs to SWU. TFC would answer with a run in the second and three in the third inning to take a 4-2 lead. The Eagles would also score a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to hold a 7-2 advantage. The Warriors would chase Key from the game and plate three runs in the 5th inning to bring TFC’s lead to 7-5.
Josh Hill entered the game in the 5th with bases loaded and two outs. Hill ended the Warriors’ threat with a strike out and pitched a scoreless 6th and 7th innings for his first save of the season and preserved the win for starting pitcher Justin Key. “Key pitched well enough to win, but he didn’t have his best stuff. Hill gave great effort and shut them down for the last two innings,” said Coach Pollock.
Josh Ward and Jordan Couillard each recorded two hits, a run batted in, and a run scored in the game three win. Ward stole two more bases in game three, his third and fourth stolen bases on the day. Ronnie Stewart, Will Patrick, Tray Hill, Josh Hill and Erick Lusk also scored for the Eagles. Stewart, Patrick, Walker, and Michael Sneed recorded RBI’s.
The Eagles improve to 4-2 with two series wins on the young season. TFC will travel to Reinhardt College on Wednesday for a doubleheader starting at 2:00 and 4:00 PM. The Eagles will also travel to Truett-McConnell College on Friday. The Bears and Eagles will wrap up the weekend series on Saturday in a doubleheader hosted by TFC. Saturday’s games will be the home opening games for the Eagles. Friday’s game at Truett will begin at 3:00, and Saturday’s double dip in Toccoa will start at 12:00 and 2:00 PM.
TFC Wins Series at Bryan to Open 2014
Toccoa Falls opened the baseball season with a road trip to NAIA Bryan College on January 31 – February 1. The series was the season opener for Bryan College as well. The home Lions defeated Toccoa 5-1 in the opener, but TFC swept Saturday’s doubleheader 11-7 and 9-2.
Senior Dylan Charles took the ball for the Eagles in the season opener. The game remained scoreless until Bryan College plated an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. After not allowing an earned run in five innings, Charles gave way to the bullpen with Bryan clinging to a 1-0 lead, but the young bullpen was unable to hold off the powerful Lions. Bryan padded its lead and added four runs off four hits and six walks over the final three innings. Trailing 5-0 in the top of the 9th, Justin Key singled and later scored on a Bryan College error for the Eagles’ lone run of the game.
“We hit the ball hard early, but we abandoned our offensive approach,” said Coach Justin Pollock. “Their pitcher kept us off balance, and our bullpen did not give us a chance to stay in the game.”
Charles’ finished with 5 innings pitched, three hits allowed, one run, zero earned runs, three walks, and four strikeouts. Shortstop Jordan Couillard went 2-4 at the plate and was the only Eagle with multiple hits.
The Eagles looked to rebound from Friday’s loss in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. TFC’s hope for its first win of the season looked slim as the Eagles fell behind 7-0 after two innings. Bryan’s first 8 batters reached safely and scored 5 in the first and added two more in the second inning. Brady McMichael came on for the Eagles in the long relief role and did not allow further damage.
TFC continued to trail 7-0 until the third inning. With two outs and no runners on, TFC rallied to get on the board. TFC’s next 7 hitters would reach safely, including a base loaded, three run double off the center field wall from Jordan Couillard. Josh Hill followed and plated Couillard with a single to left. The two out rally closed Bryan’s advantage to 7-4.
Senior Russ Pritchett singled in the top of the fourth and would later score on a Will Patrick RBI single. With momentum on TFC’s side, the Eagles trailed 7-5 after four innings.
After barely missing a home run in his previous at bat, Jordan Couillard closed Bryan’s lead to 7-6 in the 5th inning with his first home run of the year, a monster shot left-center.
In the top of the 6th inning, Ronnie Stewart, Will Patrick, and Zack Warner were issued consecutive walks. Jordan Couillard followed and his sacrifice fly scored Stewart to tie the game, and Justin Key’s RBI single to right scored Patrick to give TFC an 8-7 lead.
Bryan College transfer Colton Roberts made his TFC debut in the bottom of the 6th inning and relieved McMichael with the go-ahead runner on first. With Bryan’s best hitter at the plate and two away, Roberts ended the threat with an innocent comebacker to the mound.
The Eagles would add insurance runs in the 7th inning, courtesy of Will Patrick’s double off the left-center field fence with the bases loaded. Patrick’s three RBI’s increased TFC’s lead to 11-7. Roberts struck out two Bryan hitters in the bottom of the 7th to earn his first save. McMichael was credit with the win, a first for the TFC sophomore.
In TFC first win of the young season, Will Patrick was 2-3 at the plate with two runs scored, four runs batted in, and a double. Jordan Couillard finished 2-4 with a double and a home run, two runs scored, a sacrifice fly, and 5 RBI’s. Ronnie Stewart scored three runs and added a stolen base. Catcher Russ Pritchett threw out two would-be base stealers from behind the plate.
In the third and final game of the series, TFC’s Justin Key allowed two earned runs in the first inning, but rebounded to strike out the side in the second. As they did in the first game of the day, TFC plated four runs in the top of the third to take a 4-2 lead. Ward led off the inning with a walk and Stewart and Patrick followed with singles to load the bases. After Ward scored on a pass ball, Warner singled and drove in Stewart and Patrick. Couillard followed and doubled to right on a 0-2 count that scored Warner from first. Couillard was thrown out at third trying to stretch it out to a triple.
Leading 4-2, Stewart, Patrick, and Warner led off the 6th with three straight walks. Couillard reached on an error by Bryan’s shortstop, but was credited with an RBI as the run would have scored regardless of the error. Freshman Tray Hill entered the game as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded. In his second career at bat, Tray Hill cleared the bases with a moonshot, grandslam to right field (pictured above). TFC’s 5 runs in the 6th gave the Eagles a comfortable 9-2 lead.
Key went the distance on the mound and helped the Eagles sweep Saturday’s doubleheader. After allowing two runs in the first inning, Key scattered five singles over the remaining 6 innings. Key finished the complete game with 8 hits, two runs, two earned runs, zero walks, and 6 strikeouts.
Jordan Couillard doubled and added two more RBI’s in game three. In the series, Couillard finished 5-10 from the plate with a home run, two doubles, three runs scored, a sacrifice fly, a stolen base, and 7 runs batted in. Zack Warner added two RBI’s in the win, and Tray Hill finished 1-1 with a home run and four RBI’s.
Coach Pollock said when reflecting on the series, “It is good to play well this early. It’s also good to see what we’re capable of against a very talented program like Bryan. This weekend doesn’t guarantee future success, but it shows us what we’re capable of when we play up to our potential.”
TFC will travel to Southern Wesleyan on Friday and Saturday for a three game series. In 2013, TFC took two of three games from Southern Wesleyan.
2012 – 2013 Archives
Eagles “Three-peat” as NCCAA World Series Champions
The Toccoa Falls Eagles (32-15) defeated Dallas Christian College (27-39) in the national championship game of the NCCAA Division II baseball World Series on May 11, 4-3. The 2013 national title is the third consecutive championship won by Toccoa Falls.
TFC entered the World Series as the top seed and advanced to the title game through the winner’s brackets with wins over Cairn University (11-0), Clearwater Christian (16-2), and Dallas Christian (4-0). The #3 Dallas Christian Crusaders defeated Ohio Christian (4-1) and Florida Christian (4-0 and 3-1). DCC earned a rematch with TFC in the championship game by defeating Florida Christian 3-1 on Friday night.
As they had done in each of the previous three World Series games, TFC scored early to take a lead that they would not relinquish. Throughout the World Series, TFC never trailed their opponent, and that would hold true against the Crusaders. Freshman Will Patrick put the Eagles on the board 2-0 in the top of the first inning with a two out, bases loaded single to right that scored Jordan Couillard and Corey Warner. TFC added another two out run in the second inning as Justin Key reached on an infield single and would later score on a wild pitch from DCC’s starting pitcher Ruben Salinas to increase their lead to 3-0.
DCC would answer as All-American catcher Jonathan Perea walked to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Perea advanced to second base on a ground out and would tag to third on a spectacular diving catch from TFC’s Josh Hill. With two hits and Perea on third base, TFC’s Jordan Couillard was unable to cleanly field a hard hit groundball and Perea scored on the error to close TFC’s lead to 3-1.
In the fourth inning, both teams stranded runners on second and third base and missed scoring opportunities. TFC would add a crucial insurance run in the top of the 6th inning; an insurance run that would prove to be the difference in the game. Again with two outs in the 6th inning, senior catcher Adam Reynolds walked and was replaced by courtesy runner AJ Mussler. Mussler advanced to second base on a Josh Ward walk, and would score the Eagles fourth run on Ronnie Stewart’s single to center for a 4-1 lead.
The Crusaders would not go down without a fight. In the bottom of the 7th and final inning, Trevor Lynn started a rally with a leadoff walk off TFC’s starting pitcher Micah Ellington. DCC’s Taylor Peddicord doubled down the left field line and placed runners at second and third with no outs. Tyler Hubbard singled to center and scored Lynn and Peddicord for a 4-3 game. Hubbard also took second on Justin Key’s fielding error. Clinging to a one run lead with no outs and a runner in scoring position, TFC’s coach Justin Pollock called on game one starter Zack Breeden to finish the game. Breeden retired Corey Lee on a pop out to third baseman Corey Warner. Hubbard advanced to third base as National Player of the Year Kale McQuillen grounded out to second. With two outs and the tying run 90 feet from home, Jonathan Perea grounded out to the shortstop Jordan Couillard to end the Crusaders comeback attempt and gave TFC their third consecutive national championship.
Senior Micah Ellington earned the win for TFC with 6 innings, five hits, three runs, two earned runs, four walks, and a strikeout. Zack Breeden earned the save, coming on in the 7th inning with the tying run on base. Ronnie Stewart was 2-3 from the plate with an RBI. Justin Key was also 2-3 and scored a run.
This is the fourth national championship in five seasons for TFC. The Eagles previously won the title in 2009, 2011, 2012. In the four national championships TFC has claimed, this is the second time in which TFC advanced through the bracket without dropping a game in the double elimination tournament. The Eagles also accomplished this feat in 2011. In the 2013 World Series, TFC outscored their opposition 35-5 and increased their record versus NCCAA DII opponents to 16-2 on the season.
Senior third baseman Corey Warner was named the Most Valuable Player for the 2013 World Series. Warner finished the tournament with four runs batted in and a .884 slugging percentage. Coach Justin Pollock was awarded the National Coach of the Year. This is the third consecutive season and the fourth time during his career that Coach Pollock has been given that award. Senior pitcher Micah Ellington and first baseman Ronnie Stewart were recognized as members of the All-Tournament team.
TFC Defeats Familiar Foe to Advance in the World Series
TFC faced a familiar opponent on Wednesday night in the second round of the NCCAA Division II World Series. Toccoa Falls and region foe Clearwater Christian College have previously faced off 6 times this season before Wednesday’s matchup. The #1 Eagles have won five of the previous contests over #4 Clearwater. The Eagles advanced to the second round with an 11-0 win over #8 Cairn University earlier on Wednesday, while Clearwater advanced with a 2-0 victory over #5 Arlington Baptist College. The Eagles plated at least one run in all but one inning against the Clearwater Cougars and cruised to a 16-2 victory.
Toccoa Falls scored four runs in the top of the first inning to jump to a very quick 4-0 lead. TFC would add a run in the second, three in the third, four in the fourth, and three more runs in the 7th to plate 16 runs in the game. TFC’s total of 16 runs was their largest offensive outburst at the World Series in their history, besting the 15 runs scored against Philadelphia Bible College in 2011’s World Series. Clearwater would score two runs in the bottom of the 7th inning but the large deficit was too much to overcome.
NCCAA Division 2’s Pitcher of the Year Justin Key started the game for the Eagles and threw four innings without allowing a run. Relievers Brady McMichael and Jackson Warnock finished the final three innings for TFC in the win.
Freshman utility man Will Patrick went a perfect 4-4 at the plate with two RBI’s. Corey Warner, who homered in the opening game of the World Series, added three hits in four plate appearances with two doubles and two runs batted in. Josh Hill and Adam Reynolds added two RBI’s apiece. Zack Warner, Matt Alligood, AJ Mussler, and Hayden Tuggle each drove in a run for the Eagles. Ronnie Stewart (1-3) and Matt Alligood (1-1) each had a triple for TFC.
With their sixth win over Clearwater this season, the Eagles advance to the third round of the World Series and will play the winner of Dallas Christian and Florida Christian, Thursday night at 8:00 PM at Prasco Park Stadium. Streaming information and live scoring game be found below.
Eagles Open World Series with Blowout Win
The top ranked Eagles faced the #8 seeded Cairn University in the opening round of the NCCAA Division II World Series in Mason, Ohio. The Eagles jumped to an early lead and used a 7 run fourth inning to defeat Cairn 11 – 0 to advance to the second round.
TFC’s Josh Ward led off the game with a walk and a stolen base and would score on Jordan Couillard’s sacrifice fly to give the Eagles an early 1 – 0 advantage. TFC would add another run third before blowing the game open with 7 runs in the fourth to take a 9 – 0 lead. The game would end after just five innings when senior Corey Warner crushed a two-run homer to put the Eagles over the run rule limit.
While the offense was doing their part, starting pitcher Zach Breeden was just as sharp for the Eagles. Breeden earned the win for the Eagles and pitched a complete game shutout. Breeden threw five innings, allowed two hits, no runs, and struck out 6.
Several Eagles contributed offensively in the victory. Shortstop Jordan Couillard drove in three runs and Zack Warner and Corey Warner each drove in two runs for the Eagles. Will Patrick and Ronnie Stewart had an RBI, respectively. Zack Warner, Adam Reynolds, and Couillard had two hits apiece. Josh Ward stole two bases as the Eagles leadoff man.
The Eagles will face Clearwater Christian College Wednesday at 7:45 PM for a spot in the next round of the World Series. TFC and CCC have faced off 6 times already this season with the Eagles winning five of those contests.
TFC Wins Second Consecutive Banner
The Toccoa Falls College baseball team (28 – 14) claimed their second consecutive South Region championship in Kissimmee, Florida, on April 25 – 26 by defeating Clearwater Christian College 4 – 3 and Florida Christian College 4 – 2. TFC entered the tournament as the #1 seed, Florida Christian was the #2 seed, and Clearwater was the #3 seed. Nationally, the teams were ranked #1, #2, and #4 respectively, making the South Region the nation’s stiffest competition. The Eagles won the double elimination tournament without losing a game and earned an automatic bid to the national tournament.
After Clearwater (12 – 34) defeated Florida Christian (22 – 22) 5 – 2 in the opening game of the tournament, TFC faced the Clearwater Cougars with a place in the championship game on the line. The Eagles jumped to an early 4 – 0 lead in their half of the first inning, and would hold the lead throughout the game. The Cougars attempted to make a comeback and scored three runs on TFC’s starting pitcher Dylan Charles. Charles gave way to reliever Zach Breeden after 6 innings, 6 hits, three runs, three earned, four walks, and three strikeouts. Breeden closed the door on the Cougars comeback attempt and earned the save with one inning pitched, one hit, and a walk. The game ended with two Cougars on base as Eagles right fielder Josh Hill made a diving catch that would have at least tied the game had he not converted the diving effort. Hill also threw a base runner out at the plate in the 5th inning. The save was Breeden‘s first of the year while Charles earned his 8th win.
Offensively, Ronnie Stewart was 1 – 3 with a walk and run. Corey Warner was also 1 – 3 with a run scored and a run batted in. Justin Key contributed a hit in two official at-bats with a walk, a run, and a RBI. Will Patrick was a perfect 2 – 2 with two RBI’s.
With Florida Christian and Clearwater each having one loss in the tournament, they met again on Friday for the right to join TFC in the championship game. FCC exacted their revenge on the Cougars with a 5 – 0 victory. With TFC advancing through the winners bracket, the Eagles needed to win one more game to claim the South Region championship while the Suns would have had to claim two victories to upset the Eagles.
The Eagles again jumped to an early 2 – 0 lead over the Suns, but FCC would force extra innings with a run in each the 4th and 6th innings to tie the game at 2 – 2. With two outs in the top of the 9th, Ronnie Stewart drew a walk for the Eagles and subsequently stole second. Facing a 2 – 2 pitch count, TFC’s Jordan Couillard singled to center, and Stewart was waved around third base. The throw to the plate was late giving TFC a 3 – 2 lead. Couillard advanced to second base on the throw, and would score when FCC’s catcher attempted to throw out Couillard’s advance but threw the ball back into center field. Couillard would come all the way around and score on the two-base error to bring the game to 4 – 2. Starting pitcher Justin Key finished the Suns off in the bottom of the 9th for the complete game victory, his 8th win of the year.
Justin Key, the South’s Pitcher of the Year, threw just 107 pitches in 9 innings and allowed 6 hits, two earned runs, a walk, and four strikeouts. First baseman Ronnie Stewart finished a perfect 4 -4 with a run, a triple, two walks, and two stolen bases. Game one’s defensive hero Josh Hill was 3 – 4 at the plate with a double and a run scored against the Suns. Will Patrick reached base three times with 2 – 3, a RBI, and was hit by a pitch.
Several Eagles received postseason recognition for their performances. Pitcher Dylan Charles, second baseman Josh Ward and third baseman Corey Warner were named to the All-Conference team. Justin Key was named region Pitcher of the Year, designated hitter Zack Warner was voted as region Player of the Year, and Coach Pollock was named region Coach of the Year.
With the South Region championship, the Eagles earned a return trip to Mason, Ohio, and the NCCAA World Series. The Eagles have won three of the last four national tournaments (2009, 2011, and 2012). The national tournament is hosted by Prasco Park and will be held on May 8 – 11. Online streaming, seedings, and game times will be released as soon as they are made available.
Eagles Advance in Region Tournament
TFC defeated the Clearwater Christian College Cougars in game two of the south region tournament on Thursday, 4 – 3. Clearwater had beaten hosts Florida Christian in game one, 5 – 2 and earned the right to advance in the tournament to face the Eagles.
The top seeded Eagles jumped to an early 4 – 0 lead in their half of the first inning, and would hold the lead through out the game. The #3 seeded Cougars attempted to make a comeback and scored three runs on TFC’s starting pitcher Dylan Charles. Reliever Zack Breeden closed the Cougars comeback and earned his first save of the season. Charles was credited with his 8th win of the year.
Clearwater and Florida Christian will meet again Friday in an elimination game. The winner of that elimination game will face TFC at 3:30 on Friday. TFC can claim their second straight region championship with a win in Friday’s game. Saturday’s championship game, if needed, will be played at 1:00. The winner of the south region tournament will be awarded an automatic bid to the NCCAA World Series while the tournament runner up may qualify for an at-large bid to the tournament. The TFC Eagles have won three of the last four World Series (2009, 2011, 2012).
TFC Takes Two of Three Games in Season Finale
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.
Eagles Top Piedmont College (JV)
TFC Eagles (24 – 13) hosted the junior varsity squad from NCAA Division III Piedmont College on Wednesday. The Eagles took game one 8 – 2 behind solid pitching from Josh Hill and two runs batted in from Josh Ward, Zack Warner, and Jordan Couillard, respectively. The weather would not cooperate for game two and it was abandoned after the first inning.
The Eagles jumped on top of the Lions and led 5 – 0 after scoring two in the first inning and three more in the second inning. After Piedmont brought the game to 5 – 1 in their half of the third, the Eagles plated three additional runs in the fourth to take the 8 – 1 lead. The Lions would tack on an additional run in the seventh for a final score of 8 – 2.
TFC collected just six hits in the win, including a two run home run from Jordan Couillard. Josh Ward finished 1 – 4 with two runs scored, a stolen base, and two RBI’s. Matt Alligood walked twice and scored two runs. Justin Key was 1 – 2 with a run and a stolen base. AJ Mussler and Adam Reynolds also scored for the Eagles. Chris White led the Lions at the plate; 2 – 2 with a run and walk. Daniel Lindsey scored a run for the Lions as well.
Starting pitcher Josh Hill earned the victory and threw five innings, allowed three hits, an earned run, walked three and struck out four. Jackson Warnock finished the game for the Eagles with two innings, two hits, an earned run, three walks, and two strikeouts.
The regular season will come to an end for the Eagles this weekend as TFC hosts Hiwassee College in a three game series. Friday’s game will begin at 3:00 and Saturday’s doubleheader will be at 1:00 and 3:00. Senior Day activities will precede the start of game one on Saturday. Seniors Corey Warner, Adam Reynolds, and Micah Ellington will be honored on Senior Day for their contributions to the TFC program.
4/18 Update: Due to impending weather, this weekend’s games with Hiwassee College have been moved to Saturday at 4:00 and Sunday at 2:00 and 5:00. Senior Day activities will still be held prior to Saturday’s 4:00 game.
TFC and Cleawater Split Saturday Doubleheader
After a 13 – 1 TFC win yesterday, the season series between TFC and Clearwater Christian was completed on Saturday in a doubleheader played at TFC. The visiting Cougars (10 – 30) took game one 3 – 5 but Toccoa Falls (23 – 13) answered in game two of the doubleheader, 1 – 0. The five game season series between the region rivals finished in Toccoa’s favor four games to one.
Clearwater’s Jake Reidy powered the Cougars to victory in game one with two home runs to deep left. Reidy finished 3 – 3 with two runs scored and all five of CCC’s runs batted in. The fireworks provided by Reidy were too much for TFC to overcome as the Eagles left 10 runners on base in the loss. AJ Mussler and Ronnie Stewart each had two hits for the Eagles. Stewart finished 2 – 4 with a run and an RBI. Also scoring for TFC were Jordan Couillard and Josh Hill. Corey Warner and Zack Warner drove in a run each.
Zach Breedan took the loss for the Eagles. Breedan threw four innings and allowed five hits, five runs, four earned, two walks, and two strike outs. Micah Ellington pitched three innings of relief with one hit, no runs, two walks, and two strikeouts. Wade Irwin allowed 8 hits, four walks, three runs, two earned, and three strikeouts in a complete game for the Cougars.
TFC’s Justin Key and Clearwater’s Stephen Martin squared off in a pitcher’s dual in the second game of the doubleheader. Both pitchers silenced the offenses without allowing a run through the first 5 innings of the game. Each team had runners on base throughout the game, but the score remained deadlocked at 0 – 0 until TFC’s Zack Warner took Martin’s first pitch of the sixth inning to straight away center for his second home run of the season. Key finished the Cougars in the 7th inning for the complete game, 1 – 0 win.
Justin Key pitched 7 innings, allowed 5 hits, no runs, three walks, and 6 strikeouts in the shutout. Martin took the loss and pitched 6 innings, allowed 5 hits, one walk, four strikeouts, and an earned run.
The Eagles will return to action on Wednesday as they host NCAA Division III Piedmont College’s JV squad for a double header starting at 2:00. TFC will conclude their regular season with a three game series at home with Hiawassee College on April 19 – 20. Friday’s game will begin at 3:00 and Saturday’s double header is slated to begin at 1:00.
Eagles Take Game 1 over Clearwater
The TFC Eagles (22 – 12) hosted the Clearwater Christian Cougars (9 – 29) on Friday afternoon in game one of a three game series. The Eagles used an explosive offensive and shutdown pitching to top the Cougars 13 – 1 and lock up first place in the region standings.
TFC jumped to an early 4 – 0 lead in the bottom of the first and added five runs in third to take a 9 – 0 lead through three innings. Clearwater’s lead off man David Edwards would score CCC’s only run with a Jake Reidy RBI single in the top of the fifth. TFC answered with three runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth. After TFC reliever Brady McMichael shut down the Cougars in the top 7th, the game ended by run rule, 13 – 1.
Eagles starting pitcher Dylan Charles earned his seventh win of the season with five innings of work, allowing just three hits and an earned run. Charles walked six and struck out four. McMichael finished with two innings, no hits, no runs, one walk, and one strike out. Clearwater starting pitcher Will Kirby and reliever Taylor Hill combined to allow 13 hits, 12 runs, 10 earned runs, and two strikeouts in four innings of work.
At the plate, TFC totaled 17 hits led by Josh Ward’s 3 – 5 performance. Ward drove in two runs, stole a base, and scored a run as well. Adam Reynolds, Justin Key, Zach Warner, Ronnie Stewart, Corey Warner and Josh Hill each had two hits for the Eagles. Reynolds and Hill had two RBI’s each and Stewart added three runs batted in. Zach Warner, Key, and Reynolds each scored two runs in the win.
With the win, TFC improved their conference record to 7 – 1 and will be the top seed in the south’s regional tournament to be held in Kissimmee, Florida on April 25 – 27. Toccoa Falls and Clearwater will conclude their five game season series with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1:00.
TFC Wins Season Series over Georgia Gwinnett College
TFC baseball (21 – 12) hosted Georgia Gwinnett (25 – 17) on April 9th for the final game of a three game, non-conference season series. The Eagles topped the visiting Grizzlies 19 – 7 in a late inning offensive explosion and won the season series two games to one.
The Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies (NAIA) jumped to an early 3 – 0 by scoring one run in the first and two more in the second off starting pitcher Brenton Ruark. The Eagles answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 3 – 3. The game was tied at 4 – 4 after each team added a run in the third inning. After a scoreless fourth inning, the Eagles took a 7 – 4 lead in the fifth, only to have Georgia Gwinnett re-tie the game at 7 – 7 with three runs in the top of the sixth. The Eagles would hold the Grizzlies scoreless over the final three innings and add 6 runs in the 6th and three runs in both the 7th and 8th innings to take the game 19 – 7.
The Eagles pounded out 23 hits with each starter getting at least one hit. Josh Hill lead the Eagles with four hits in 6 plate appearances, four runs, three runs batted in, a double, and his second home run of the season. Justin Key went 3 – 4 with four runs, three RBI’s, a stolen base, a double, and his third home run of the season. Josh Ward was 2 – 6 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI’s. Corey Warner, Jordan Couillard, and Ronnie Stewart each had three hits for the Eagles. Georgia Gwinnett’s Robbie Payne led the Grizzlies with 3 – 5, two runs, two RBI’s, a double, and a home run.
After Brenton Ruark started the game for the Eagles, Jacob Martin enter in relief and threw four and a third innings and allowed 9 hits, four runs, and three walks. Jackson Warnock earned his first win for the Eagles. Warnock pitched the last three and a third innings and allowed three hits, two walks, three strikeouts, and no runs allowed.
The Eagles will host conference rivals Clearwater Christian College in a three game series starting on Friday, April 12 at 3:00. Saturday’s doubleheader against the Cougars will begin at 1:00.
Eagles Split with Covenant College
The baseball team at Toccoa Falls College (20 – 12) hosted the Covenant College Scots (22 – 6) for a doubleheader on Saturday. The Eagles took game one 6 – 3 but dropped game two 2 – 4 to their NCAA Division III opponent.
Covenant opened the scoring in the second inning of game one with a solo home run from Perry Rigby and a two run shot from Chris Rollins off TFC’s pitcher Dylan Charles. The Eagles would answer with one run in their half of the second inning and five more runs in the third to take a 6 – 3 lead. Though both offenses continued to scatter hits and place runners on base, neither side could push across additional runs.
Charles threw 6 innings, allowed 7 hits, three earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts in the win. Charles’ win was his nation-leading 6th win of the season. Jacob Martin pitched a scoreless 7th inning for his second save of the year. Garrett Kriston took the loss for Covenant.
As part of the five run third inning, designated hitter Zach Warner hit a two run home run for the Eagles, his first of the season. TFC’s Justin Key scored twice and stole a base. Also scoring for the Eagles were Ronnie Stewart, Corey Warner, and AJ Mussler. Mussler and Adam Reynolds each had two RBI’s.
In game two, Justin Key put the Eagles ahead 1 – 0 with a solo home run to right field in the fourth inning. The Eagles lead would be short lived as the Scots answered with four runs, two earned, in the top of the fifth. The Eagles closed the gap to 4 – 2 in the bottom of the fifth, but were unable to close the deficit any further.
Starting pitcher Zach Breeden took the loss for the Eagles, but pitched well in four innings, allowed two hits, three runs, one earned run, no walks, and three strikeouts. Reliever Micah Ellington threw three innings with two hits allowed, one earned run, and a walk. Covenant’s Keith Rice earned the win and reliever Sterling Witt pitched a scoreless 7th inning for the save.
At the plate, TFC’s Ronnie Stewart was 2 – 4 with a double and a RBI. Adam Reynolds was 1 – 3 with a run scored. Key finished 1 -3 with a home run, his second of the season.
The Eagles will host Georgia Gwinnett College Tuesday at 3:00 before hosting rivals Clearwater Christian College for a three game weekend series. Friday’s game with Clearwater will begin at 3:00, and Saturday’s doubleheader will start at 1:00.
TFC Falls in Extra Innings
The Toccoa Falls College Eagles (19 – 10) hosted nearby rivals Emmanuel College Lions (18 – 14) in a midweek, out of conference match up on Tuesday, April 2. The top ranked Eagles (NCCAA Div. II) took an early lead over #5 Emmanuel (NCCAA Div. I), but would fall 3 – 4 in 10 innings to the Lions.
The Eagles and the Lions remained scoreless through the first four and a half innings until the Eagles jumped ahead 1 – 0 with a Corey Warner RBI single. The visiting Lions would tie the game with a run of their own in the top of the 5th inning. With the score tied at 1 – 1, Josh Ward and Corey Warner each scored in the bottom of the fifth for a 3 – 1 Eagles lead. TFC’s two run advantage would hold until the Lions scored two unearned runs with two outs in the top of the 7th inning to re-tie the game, 3 – 3. Emmanuel would score the eventual winning run in the top of the 10th inning and retire the Eagles in the bottom of the 10th to steal the 4 – 3 win.
TFC’s starting pitcher Zach Breeden was unfortunate to be given a no-decision with 5 innings, 7 hits, no walks, three strikeouts, and one earned run. Micah Ellington relieved Breeden in the 6th inning and took the loss despite 5 innings, allowed 5 hits, one walk, one strikeout, three runs, and one earned run. Offensively, Corey Warner was 3 – 5 with a run batted in. Josh Ward had two hits in four at-bats, a walk, three stolen bases, and a run scored. Jordan Couillard had a RBI and scored a run for the Eagles, and Josh Hill was 1 – 4 with a run batted in.
The Eagles will travel to NCAA Division II opponent Georgia College on Wednesday before returning home to host Covenant College on Saturday. Saturday’s doubleheader with Covenant will begin at 1:00 and 3:00.
Eagles Split Home Doubleheader with Florida Christian
NCCAA Division 2’s top ranked Toccoa Falls College Eagles (19 – 9) hosted the second ranked Florida Christian College Suns for a doubleheader on March 30. TFC topped FCC in game one 12 – 2, but the Eagles were defeated 6 – 9 in game two. With the doubleheader split, the Eagles took four of the five regular season games against FCC.
In game one Toccoa Falls plated three runs in the first, two in the second, and three more in the third to jump to an 8 – 2 lead. The Eagles would add three more runs in the fifth and one in the sixth for a 12 – 2 win. Starting pitcher Dylan Charles earned the win for the Eagles with 6 innings, 6 hits, two earned runs, a walk, and 6 strikeouts. FCC’s two runs in the game were Charles’ first earned runs allowed in his previous 27 innings. Reliever Jacob Martin pitched a scoreless seventh to finish the game for the Eagles.
Offensively, the Eagles’ 31 official at-bats combined for 16 hits with zero strikeouts. The one through six hitters in the Eagles’ lineup combined to go 14 – 24 with 11 runs scored. The Eagles offensive outburst was led by leadoff man Justin Key’s 3 – 5, a double, two stolen bases, and three runs scored. Jordan Couillard and Corey Warner also had three hits apiece. Josh Ward, Zack Warner, and Couillard each scored two runs in the win. Zack Warner drove in three runs and Will Patrick added two RBI’s.
In game two of the doubleheader, Florida Christian jumped to a 4 – 0 in the first and plated two more in the second to take a 6 – 0 lead. TFC battled back with 6 runs in the bottom of the second inning. Both pitching staffs settled in, and the game remained tied at 6 – 6 until the Suns pushed three runners home in the sixth inning. The Eagles were unable to answer and fell 9 – 6. Josh Ward went 2 – 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Justin Key drove in two runs and scored a run. Starting pitcher Brenton Ruark lasted an inning and a third and allowed four hits, 6 earned runs, two walks, and a strikeout. Reliever Justin Martin took the loss with four innings, two earned runs, and two walks.
TFC will host Emmanuel College on April 2 at 3:00, and travel to Georgia College on April 3. The Eagles will return home to host Covenant College on April 6 for a doubleheader, beginning at 1:00.
TFC’s Offense Explodes in Doubleheader Sweep
Toccoa Falls College’s baseball team traveled to nearby Cleveland, Georgia, on March 22 to face the Truett – McConnell College Bears. The nation’s top ranked TFC Eagles swept the doubleheader 10 – 0 and 15 – 3.
The Eagles were nearly perfect in every facet in the first game of the doubleheader. Offensively, TFC had a team batting average of.500, and starting pitcher Dylan Charles continued his scoreless innings streak. Leading 2 – 0 with two outs in the top of the fourth inning, TFC’s Adam Reynolds broke the game open with a two run homer to left; his first of the season. The Eagles would add one run in the fifth, and put the game out of reach with a four run sixth inning. After adding one run in the seventh, the Eagles took the opening game 10 – 0.
Game one starting pitching Dylan Charles last allowed an earned run to be scored on February 21 in a 6 – 5 loss to Point University. Since that loss, Charles has thrown a no-hitter and two consecutive complete game shutouts. Charles extended his scoreless inning streak to 27 innings with a shutdown performance against the Bears. Charles earned his fourth win of the season and threw 6 innings, allowed four hits, no runs, four walks, and struck out 8.
Offensively, Reynolds finished game one 2- 4 with a home run and two runs batted in. Jordan Couillard was also 2 – 4 and drove in three runs. Zack Warner was 3 – 4 with 2 doubles, and Will Patrick had three hits, a double and two runs scored.
In the second game, TFC used big offensive innings to pull away from the Bears, 15 – 3. The Eagles would score five runs in the third, four in the fifth inning, one in the sixth, and five in the seventh inning. First baseman Ronnie Stewart led the Eagles with a perfect 4 -4 effort with a run scored and three RBI’s. After homering in game one, Adam Reynolds went 3 – 3 with two RBI’s in game two. Jordan Couillard was again 2 – 4 with two doubles, three RBI’s, and a stolen base. Josh Ward also had three RBI’s for the Eagles.
Pitcher Micah Ellington earned the win in game two. Ellington threw four innings, allowed three hits, three earned runs, four walks, and a strike out. Ellington improved to 2 – 0 on the year. Brady McMichael and Josh Ward finished the game for the Eagles and combined to allow zero runs over the final three innings.
The two wins over Truett – McConnell improved the Eagles season record to 17 – 7. TFC has now won 15 of their last 17 games. TFC will travel to Georgia Gwinnett College on Wednesday, March 27 for a doubleheader. On Saturday, March 30 the top ranked Eagles will welcome #2 Florida Christian College to town for a crucial conference doubleheader. Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 1:00 and 3:00.
Eagles Use Pitching to Sweep Reinhardt University
The TFC baseball team (15 – 7) hosted Reinhardt University (14 – 13) for a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 13. Behind two solid pitching performances, the Eagles swept the doubleheader 1 – 0 and 2 – 1, and took the season series with Reinhardt three games to two.
In his previous start, TFC’s starting pitcher Dylan Charles threw his second career no-hitter in a victory over Clearwater Christian and earned NCCAA Student-Athlete of the Week honors. In game one against Reinhardt, Charles picked up right where he left off and allowed just four hits and no runs. The performance against Reinhardt was Charles’ second straight shutout victory. Charles walked two and struck out five Reinhardt batters in the complete game shutout. The Eagles lone run of the game would come in the fifth inning when TFC’s Jonah Crenshaw walked, stole second, and was driven in by Adam Reynolds for the eventual winning run. Crenshaw’s run would give the Eagles the 1 – 0 win in game one.
In game two, Reinhardt scored first in the top of the fourth inning. Reinhardt’s Jerome Jones singled home Stuart Young for a 1 – 0 lead. Reinhardt’s lead would hold until the bottom of the sixth. TFC’s Zack Warner singled home Josh Ward for the tying run. The game would go into extra innings tied at 1 – 1. With runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Corey Warner ended the game with a walk off single to center that scored shortstop Jordan Couillard from second. Warner’s single gave TFC the 2 – 1 win. Pitchers Justin Key, Micah Ellington, Jacob Martin, and AJ Mussler combined to allow three hits and a lone earned run. Fresham AJ Mussler, TFC’s leader in saves, earned his first career win in two innings of relief. Zack Warner was 2 – 4 with a RBI in game two, and first baseman Ronnie Stewart went 4 – 5 on the day.
TFC will travel to Truett McConnell on March 22 for an away doubleheader. The following day, the two teams will return to TFC for a Saturday doubleheader that will start at 1:00 and 3:00.
Charles’ No Hitter Propels Eagles to Perfect Road Trip
TFC’s baseball team traveled to Florida for a five game road trip on March 6-9. The trip included two games at Clearwater Christian College and three games at #2 Florida Christian College. Propelled by Dylan Charles’ no hitter in the opening game, the top ranked Eagles completed the weekend with a perfect 5-0 record against the two conference opponents.
The road trip began with two games at Clearwater Christian College. TFC won both games, winning 5 – 0 and 10 – 5. In the first game at CCC, TFC’s Dylan Charles threw his second collegiate no hitter and first complete game shut out. Charles silenced the Cougars bats, and threw 7 innings with 6 strikeouts, a walk, no runs, and no hits allowed. Offensively, Jonah Crenshaw went 2-3 with a triple, a run batted in, and a run scored. Adam Reynolds went 1-3 with two RBI’s in the 5-0 win.
TFC won the second game against Clearwater, 10 – 5 in extra innings. Leading 4-2 in the final inning, TFC allowed Clearwater to tie the game at 4-4. With one out in the bottom of the 7th inning, Clearwater had the winning run at third base and attempted a suicide squeeze. The Eagles executed a perfectly timed pitch-out, and sent the game into extra innings by tagging the would-be winning run. In the top of the 8th inning the Eagles plated five runs and won, 10-5. Micah Ellington started the game on the mound for the Eagles, and threw 6 solid innings with four strikeouts, and two earned runs allowed. Jacob Martin pitched the last two innings in relief and earned the win for the Eagles. At the plate TFC’s Josh Ward, Corey Warner, and Zack Warner had three hits apiece. Will Patrick and Jordan Couillard both drove in two runs for the Eagles.
In a battle of the nation’s number one and number two ranked teams, the #1 Eagles traveled to the #2 Florida Christian College for a three game series. TFC took the opening game 10-1 behind a dominating pitching performance from Brenton Ruark. Ruark went 6.2 innings and allowed one run, two hits, and 7 strikeouts with 6 walks. Zack Warner went 1-2 at the plate with a double, a RBI, and a run scored. Corey Warner was 2-3 with three runs batted in.
The Eagles won game two at FCC, 7-4. Josh Hill started for TFC and handed the ball to Zach Breedan in relief. Breedan earned the win for the Eagles by going two and two-thirds innings without allowing a run. Freshman AJ Mussler earned his second career save with two innings, three strikeouts, no hits, no runs, and a walk. Justin Key led the Eagles offensively and went 3-4 with a run and a RBI. Corey Warner had two hits and two RBI’s, and catcher Adam Reynolds had a double and two RBI’s.
The Eagles completed the sweep of FCC with a 14-5 victory in the final game of the series. The Eagles had a team average over .500 with 16 hits and 28 runners on base. Zack Warner went 4-5 with three runs, four RBI’s, a triple, and a double. Jonah Crenshaw was a perfect 3-3 with two runs, two RBI’s, and a double. Freshman Josh Frye was 2-2 with an RBI. Justin Key started the game on the mound for TFC and went four innings and allowed two hits and a run with a strikeout and no walks. Brady McMichael earned a three inning save in relief.
TFC is now 13-7 on the year and have won 11 of their last 13 games. The Eagles will host Reinhardt College on Wednesday, March 13 for a doubleheader starting at 1:00.
Eagles Win with Walk Off Home Run
The TFC Eagles (7 – 6) hosted the Bethel College Pilots (1 – 3) in a doubleheader on Friday. The Eagles took an early lead over Bethel in game one for a 4 – 1 victory, and won by a walk off home run in game two, 6 – 5.
Starting pitcher Dylan Charles was given the ball in the opening game as he sought his first win of the season. Charles was given all the run support he needed when TFC scored four times in the bottom of the second inning. The 4 – 0 lead stood until the Pilots pushed an unearned run across in the sixth to close the gap to 4 – 1. Charles finished the Pilots off in the 7th and earned his first win of the season. In total, Charles threw a complete game and allowed 6 hits, no earned runs, and a walk with 6 strike outs. Offensively for the Eagles, Josh Ward went 2 – 3 with an RBI and Ronnie Stewart went 2 – 2 with a double, a run and a stolen base. Justin Key, Corey Warner, and Adam Reynolds also scored for the Eagles.
In game two it was the Pilots who jumped out to a 4 – 0 lead in the second inning. The Eagles would pull a run back in the third for a 4 – 1 deficit. The Pilots increased their lead with a run in the top of the 6th and a 5 – 1 lead. In their half of the 6th, TFC;s Josh Ward drove in two of the Eagles three runs in the inning to bring it to a 5 – 4 game. After the Pilots were set down in order in the top of the 7th, TFC would tie the game on Justin Key’s sacrifice fly that scored Ronnie Stewart. The game would remain tied at 5 – 5 into extra innings through a scoreless 8th inning and the Pilot’s half of the 9th. With one out in the bottom of the 9th, TFC’s Josh Hill ended the game with a solo home run to left field. The walk-off home run was Hill’s first home run of his TFC career. In all, Hill went 2 – 3 with 2 runs scored and an RBI. Josh Ward and Justin Key also had two hits apiece for the Eagles. Ward added two RBI’s, and Key scored twice. Jacob Martin threw three scoreless innings in relief to earn the win for the Eagles.
Coach Justin Pollock said of the victories, “In the first game we won the way we want to win, with good pitching and solid defense. In game two, we didn’t play as well as we are able to, but it was nice to show some resiliency and bounce back for the win.”
TFC was scheduled to travel to Hiwassee College in Tennessee for a doubleheader on Saturday. However, with the threat of inclement weather the games have been moved to Sunday, March 3. The Eagles will also travel to region foes Clearwater Christian College and Florida Christian College on March 7 – 9. The next home games will be a doubleheader on March 13 at 1:00 and 3:00 against Reinhardt College.
Eagles Split Doubleheader at Point
TFC’s baseball team split a two game series at Point University on February 20. The Eagles lost in game one 6 – 5, but took game two 14 – 5.
In the opening game, the Eagles scored two runs in both the first and second innings to jump to a 4 – 0 lead. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the Eagles struggled to get the final out and saw their lead erased. Despite the early lead, the Eagles fell 6 -5. Pitcher Dylan Charles took the loss for the Eagles. Offensively, Corey Warner went 2- 3 at the plate with a run batted in, a run scored, and a stolen base.
The Eagles again jumped to an early lead in game two and lead 10 – 0 in the third. Unlike the first game, the Eagles would not allow the Point Skyhawks to make a comeback. The Eagles compiled 17 hits and defeated Point 14 – 5. Brenton Ruark started the game on the mound for the Eagles and threw three innings. Micah Ellington pitched the final four innings and earned the win. Ellington allowed four hits, two earned runs, a walk, and two strike outs and earned his first win of the season. Jordan Couillard led the Eagles at the plate with a 4 – 5 hitting effort. Couillard scored three runs and had an RBI in the win. Freshman Will Patrick also went 4 – 5 and scored three runs and drove in two. Corey Warner continued his hot hitting by going 3 – 5 with two runs scored, two RBI’s, and a stolen base.
TFC will host Bethel College in the season’s first home games on Friday, March 1. The doubleheader will begin at 1:00 pm. The following day, TFC will travel to Hiwassee College for a double header that is set to start at 12:00 pm.
TFC Rebounds to Take Game 3 at Reinhardt
The TFC baseball team (3 – 5) traveled to Reinhardt University (3 – 4) for a three game series on February 15 – 16. The Eagles dropped the first two games 12- 0 and 9 – 0, but rebounded to take the final game of the series, 3 – 0.
In the losses TFC head coach Justin Pollock blamed a lack of fundamentals. “To beat good teams like Reinhardt, you have to play good defensive and not make base running mistakes. We couldn’t avoid those mistakes, so we were outplayed by a good team.”
In the third and final game of the series, Coach Pollock gave the starting nod to pitcher Justin Key. Key (2 – 0, 0.83 ERA) answered the call and threw four shutout innings for the Eagles. Freshman AJ Mussler earned his first career save and added three shutout innings. Key and Mussler combined for 5 strikeouts and allowed 6 hits. Offensively for the Eagles, Jordan Couillard went 3 – 4 and scored two runs. Zack Warner also went 3 – 4 with a double and a run. Corey Warner added two RBI’s on 2 – 4 hitting. “It was nice to bounce back in game three after being outscored 21 – 0 in the first two games,” said Coach Pollock. “It just goes to show that we could be a good team if we do the little things properly.”
TFC will travel to nearby Emmanuel College on February 19 and to Point University for a three game set on February 22 – 23. The first baseball home games of the year will be on March 1 as the Eagles host Bethel College for a double header beginning at 1:00 pm.
Eagles Sweep Double Header at Southern Wesleyan
TFC baseball traveled to Bryan College on February 4 and Southern Wesleyan for three games on February 8 – 9. Against the two N.A.I.A. teams TFC went 2 – 2, capped by sweeping Saturday’s double header at Southern Wesleyan University. First, the Eagles traveled to Bryan College to make up the previously postponed double header. In the one-game make up, TFC fell 8 – 6. The Eagles finished the week with a three game series at South Wesleyan University. After dropping the opening game 13 – 3, TFC rebounded on Saturday to sweep the double header 7 – 2 and 4 – 1.
In the wins against Southern Wesleyan, TFC got quality pitching from starters Brenton Ruark and Justin Key. In game one of Saturday’s double header, Ruark (1 – 1, 4.50 ERA) earned the win by pitching five innings with four strikeouts and two earned runs. After Ruark allowed two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Jacob Martin came on in relief for the final six outs. Game two starter Justin Key played centerfield in the opening game and went 2 – 4 from the plate with an RBI triple, his first home run of the year, and three total RBI’s. 1B Ronnie Stewart went 2 -4 and scored two runs for the Eagles.
Justin Key (1 – 0, 1.29 ERA) got the start from the mound in game two and threw a complete game, 7 innings with 7 strikeouts, five hits, and a single earned run. Offensively, TFC’s designated hitter Zack Warner went 2 – 3 with a double and two RBI’s. Jonah Crenshaw also went 2 – 3 and a run scored for the Eagles.
The Eagles will travel to Truett McConnell College on Tuesday, February 12 before visiting Reinhardt College for a three game series on February 15 – 16.
Back to Back National Champions Release 2013 Schedule
With a solid group of returning starters and a highly skilled group of new players, the TFC Eagles baseball team will be seeking their third consecutive national championship in the 2013 season. The new season will begin on February 1 with a three game series at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. After fourteen consecutive road games to open the season, the Eagles’ home opener will be on March 1 in a double header against Bethel College at 1:00 pm. The region tournament will be played in Kissimmee, Florida, on April 25-27. The national tournament will again be hosted by Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio, on May 8-11. To view the entire 2013 Eagles schedule, visit the schedule page here:
NCCAA World Series — TFC game summary by Jason Mehl, director of TFC Sports Information
In game one, TFC’s Micah Ellington allowed only one hit in a six-inning shutout of Lancaster Bible College in game one of the NCCAA Div II World Series at Prasco Park in Cincinnati.
Both teams were scoreless through two innings, but the Eagles got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd with a series of base hits from Cam Fulcher (2b), Adam Reynolds, Josh Ward and Tyrone Dawson. In the bottom of the 5th Jordan Couillard, Cory Klassen and Fulcher each drove in runs as part of a six-run inning that put TFC ahead 9-0. In the bottom of the 6th Klassen singled in Zach Warner to give TFC the 10-0 victory.
Eagles Win 2012 South Regional Championship!
The Toccoa Falls College baseball team (28-15-1) won its first conference championship since 1995, by defeating Florida Christian College 8-3 on April 28 in the final game of the conference tournament held at Toccoa Falls. TFC lost to Florida Christian earlier in the day, 7-5, forcing a second game to decide the champion of the double-elimination tournament. The loss put an end to the Eagles’ 12-game winning streak.
For the 11th win in the streak, TFC closed out their regular season with a 7-6 win over Truett McConnell College on April 24. TFC’s Zach Breeden started the game on the mound and went seven innings and gave up only two runs on five hits. With the score 7-2, Breeden was relieved by Justin Key in the 8th inning. In the 9th, Key got into trouble due to two fielding errors and Truett had the bases loaded with no outs and the tying run at the plate. TFC closer Nate Bowen came in and struck out the first two batters he faced, but then gave up two ground-ball base hits that scored four runs for Truett before TFC recorded the third out to seal the win. Breeden got the pitching win and Bowen got the save.
TFC received a first-game bye in the double-elimination conference tournament which began with Florida Christian playing Clearwater Christian College on April 26. Florida Christian won that game which put them in the winner’s bracket against TFC, the game the Eagles won 7-3. Key pitched a complete game, giving up three hits with four walks and four strike-outs. Senior captain Cory Klassen drove in three runs in the game, one in the 2nd inning and two more as part of a four-run 5th inning. Corey Warner was 3-3 with three doubles, including one in the 3rd inning that scored his brother Zach.
Florida Christian was then forced to play Clearwater out of the loser’s bracket and won that game for another shot at TFC on April 28. This was the first game of the day that Florida Christian won 7-5. The game was tied 2-2 until Florida Christian put together a five-run 3rd inning that included back-to-back home runs, one off starter Dylan Charles and one off Breeden who came on in relief. Breeden kept Florida Christian of the board the rest of the way and the Eagles rallied in the fifth when Cam Fulcher walked with the bases loaded and Jordan Couillard hit a two-run double, but the scoring ended there.
The loss set up the championship game which TFC won 8-3. Micah Ellington started for TFC and gave up a two-run homer the second inning, but Zach Warner tied things up at 2-2 with a two-run double in the bottom of the 3rd. Bowen relieved Ellington with one out in the fourth and got Florida Christian’s heaviest hitter, who homered in the 2nd, to ground into a double-play. In the bottom of the inning, with two out, Zach Warner lined a two-run double right over third base scoring Wesley Warren and Josh Ward, and Fulcher came up and drove in Warner with a single and the Eagles led 5-2. Florida Christian threatened in the top of the 5th when they had runners at first and second with no outs, but heads-up defense kept them off the board. A perfectly-defended bunt got the lead runner at third base, Bowen struck out the next batter, then right fielder Andrew Thorne gunned down a runner at home after a line-drive single to end the inning. Bowen gave up a solo homerun in the top of the 6th (his first earned run since Feb. 25), but TFC scored three runs in the bottom of the 6th when Thorne and Klassen both doubled off the wall in left.
Following the game, the championship banner was presented to the Eagles and All-Conference honors were announced. Thorne received All-Conference Honorable Mention. Charles, Couillard, Bowen and Zach Warner were all named to the All-Conference first team. Warner was named Freshman of the Year and Bowen was named Pitcher of the Year. TFC Head Coach Justin Pollock was named Coach of the Year for the third season.
TFC will travel to Prasco Park in Cincinnati, Ohio for its sixth NCCAA Div. II World Series under Pollock. In all but one of those years the Eagles played in the championship game, winning the National Championship twice (2009 and 2011).