Talladega Splits Doubleheader With No. 17 Middle Georgia State

Talladega split a doubleheader with the No. 17 ranked Middle Georgia State Knights. The game marked the second time since the start of the season they have defeated either a ranked opponent or one receiving votes in the NAIA poll. The Tornadoes took game one by a score of 6-1, but lost the second game 15-2.

In Game 1, the Tornadoes opened the scoring plating the game’s first run. Jorge Rodriguez reached on a walk, Wilkin Louis doubled to deep left-center scoring Rodriguez for a 1-0 lead. Both starters, Talladega’s Louis Berrios and Middle Georgia’s Preston Sparks took command of the game for the next five innings not allowing a run to cross the plate.

In the top of the 6th inning, Talladega scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead. Rodriguez doubled to left-center, Oswaldo Calderon singled up the middle moving Rodriguez to third, scored on a wild pitch by reliever Shane Tucker, with Calderon advanced to third. Next batter Wilkin Louis singled to right field with Calderon scoring to go up 3-1. They woud add another run in the inning. Gustavo Castellanos reached first on the fielder’s choice Louis, but was forced out at second on a short-to-second put out. An error by the Knights’ 1st baseman Colbey Owens, in a double play attempt, allowed Hamlet Flores to advance to second, then Demarcus Reid reached on a walk, moving Flores to third and Castellanos to second. Waldemar Figueroa walked with bases loaded scoring Flores for a 4-1 lead.

Middle Georgia, ranked in the NAIA Top 25 Poll, would add it’s only run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Zach Cornell homered over the center field fence plating their only run in the game.

Taladage would add one in the top of the 8th inning and another in the top of the 9th inning to pick up the victory. Louis went 2 for 2, two runs batted in, three walks. Castellanos 3 for 1 one run batted in and Flores drove in a run.

For Talladega, three pitchers would combine to shutdown the No. 17 ranked Knights. Starter Louis Berrios got the win in 5.2 innings pitched allowing six hits, one run, one earned run, walked one batter and struck out two. Davis Padilla, in relief, pitched 2.1 innings, gave up two hits while striking out three. Robin Venture got the save in the ninth inning.

In game 2, the Middle Georgia won by the score of 15-2, putting up a pair of runs in the 1st inning. Talladega got on the scoreboard in the 2nd inning when Knights starter Jason Gifford gave up a home run to Demarcus Reid putting the Tornados down 2-1 lead. The Knights put up 5 runs in the 3rd inning as Talladega starter Tyler Brown and relivers Gianlucas Lagrutta and Ribin Ventura combined to walk nine batters on just 1 hit, a 2-run double for a 7-1 lead. Talladage added another run on a pair of hits in the 4th allowing the Tornadoes to score again as the Knights led 7-2. After that it was all Middle Georgia, scoring 4 more runs in the 5th inning, 4 in the 6th inning to close out the scoring. Talladega’s Brown took the loss.

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