Double dose of Milligan downs King

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Trailing in a key Appalachian Athletic Conference outing, the Milligan College baseballers needed a big break to overcome a three-run deficit in the fifth inning of their game against King College.
   It only took two pitches to do it.
   In the first game of Saturday's late doubleheader, the Buffs used back-to-back home runs from Dustin Price and Kory Kinnear in the fifth inning and solid relief pitching from Chris Shockley to earn a 7-6 comeback victory over the Tornado at Anglin Field.
   Milligan also captured the second game, 10-7.
   Game one saw King touch Milligan's starting pitcher, Chad Davis, with a five-run third inning that featured three doubles. Shockley allowed one more run, but was strong enough to keep the rivals down.
   The Buffaloes had six straight hits, including the long shots, in the fifth inning against King's Danny McCreedy.
   "In the third and fourth innings, we became stale offensively," said Milligan coach Danny Clark. "I was glad to see things come together in the fifth inning. I thought Price had a clutch three-run homer and Kinnear came in behind him."
   Shockley, a senior out of Morristown, put together one of his best outings in a while to earn the win. Clark was pleased with his effort.
   "Being a senior, that was probably his best outing in the past year," said Clark. "He had some sink to the ball today. He came out with a little bit of composure."
   "We've kind of been working with him dropping down a little bit and I thought he was successful with it," he said. "Obviously, Davis didn't have it today and Shockley came in and did his job. (Davis) could never find his control today, but that was his first bad outing in five or six outings."
   Davis walked six in his three innings on the mound for Milligan.
   The Buffaloes scored first in the second inning after a David Rusaw single and a courtesy base by Alex Della Morra who was hit by a pitch.
   Nathan Chandler followed up with a two-run double in the right-center gap to give the squad the temporary lead.
   King got back at them when Danny Holloway scored on a single and error from Aaron Porter.
   Porter came across on a David Roberts double, while Dirk Kleinmann drove two across on a two-baser of his own. Kleinmann scored on a Patrick McKlveen double and the Tornado led 5-2.
   Milligan couldn't muster any offense until the fifth, when Chandler led off with a single. With two outs, Nathan Meade followed with a hit, as did Jacob McAllister who closed the gap at two.
   Price followed in grand fashion with a three-run homer over the right field fence, and on the very next pitch Kinnear homered over the right center wall.
   "It was a 2-2 count, and basically, I was just trying to put it in play," said Price. "I stuck my bat out and hit it right. We always seem to start out slow. It's like our M.O. -- we start out slow and we carve our way back."
   "We haven't been able to rely on that. We haven't had that many (home runs) as a team," he said. "It's just something that happens every once in a while, luckily it happened right then."
   McCreedy gave up hits to Rusaw and Della Mora before getting out of the inning.
   King's Daniel Utt walked and scored on a Danny Holloway single in the sixth inning, but Milligan's defense made the plays to win late.
   "I don't think (McCreedy) lost (control late) Who knows?," asked King coach Craig Kleinmann. "The best hitters got two home runs and beat us today, that won't happen again. We're not worried."
   It was another victory after another slow start for the Buffaloes.
   "That's been a problem for our pitching staff all year. It seems like they get in trouble by walking people and that makes it worse when we're not getting hits," said Price.
   "That's kind of what happened today, then all of a sudden we started hitting it," he said. "But as long as we can get guys out of the bullpen and throw strikes like Shockley did, we'll be okay."
   In the second game, Milligan started the offense early as the Buffs scored a run in the first inning. Kinnear's sacrifice fly to center field allowed Meade to score.
   King tied the game in the third inning as Daniel Ott scored on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Belcher.
   The Buffaloes started the inning with a double from Brad Hitch. Will Little reached first with a walk.
   Meade reached first on a fielder's choice as Little was out at second. A sacrifice fly from Rusaw into left field allowed Hitch to score. Meade scored on an infield hit from Price.
   The Tornadoes answered in fourth inning with two runs. Kleinmaan and Chris Martin scored on Ott's double.
   Milligan gained control in the bottom of the fourth inning with back to back home runs from freshman catcher Thomas Lister and senior first baseman Brian Miller.
   The Buffaloes added five more runs in the fifth inning. Meade started the inning with a single and stole second base and Rusaw reached with a walk.
   Meade scored on a double from Price. Pinch hitter and freshman Brett Morton scored Rusaw with a single. Morton was picked off at first in a rundown.
   Lister reached first safely as Belcher dropped the throw by third baseman David Roberts. A RBI single from Miller scored Price and freshman left fielder Ben Huff scored Lister's pinch runner, Cody Whitlock. Little allowed Miller to score with his single.
   King tried a seventh inning come back with four runs. Aaron Porter grounded out to allow Tony Prinzo to score. Belcher scored Danny Holloway with a single. Roberts hit a two run home run for King's final two runs.
   For Milligan on the mound, McAllister pitched a complete game, seven innings, allowing seven runs; five were earned, on eight hits with six strikeouts. Picking up the loss, Gordon Cox, he pitched four plus innings allowing eight runs, all earned on eight hits.
   Offensively for Milligan, Meade, Price and Brian Miller each had two hits. Meade scored three runs, Miller scored two runs and Price scored once. Price had two RBIs while Miller had one. For King at the plate, Porter went 2-for-4 with one RBI.
   Next for Milligan will be the third game of the series with King today at 3 p.m. at Anglin Field.