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Railsplitters edge Tornado, 6-3

HARROGATE, TN -- The Railsplitters continued their strong play on Tuesday, as they came away with a 6-3 victory over the King Tornado in non-conference action at Lamar Hennon Field. Lincoln Memorial University (20-17) broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fourth and rolled the rest of the way to win their 16th game in their last 20 outings. King University falls to 19-15 on the season in defeat.

Both teams were kept off the scoreboard in the first two innings of play before the Railsplitters got the scoring started with a three-run outburst in the bottom half of the third. Jacob West set the stage with a single to right field and Scott Miller drove him home with a two-out double two batters later. Miller was sent home on an RBI single by Curt Fuqua, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with that hit. Andre Rodriguez capped the scoring in that frame for Lincoln Memorial by driving Fuqua home with a double down the right field line.

The Tornado did not trail for long, as they answered that scoring rally by scattering three hits and plating three runs in the visitor's half of the fourth. Josh Huffman walked and Hunter Smith singled back up the middle to put runners on first and second with no outs, while Austin McCoy singled with one out to push the first run across. Logan Schmidt pushed two runs across the dish with a two-out, two-run single to knot the game at three apiece.

In the home half of the fourth, the Railsplitters regained the lead by taking advantage of the lead-off batter, Nick Morabito, reaching on an error. Nolan Woody notched a sacrifice bunt to move Morabito to second and a wild pitch extended him all the way to third. Josh Coker did the rest, as he tallied a sacrifice fly out to give LMU a 4-3 lead.

After an uneventful fifth frame, Lincoln Memorial widened the gap by scrounging up a run in the bottom of the sixth. Nick Morabito sparked the rally with a one-out double and Nolan Woody followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Josh Coker reached on a fielder's choice but that swing allowed Morabito to come across the plate for a run.

The Tornado threatened to score in the top of the seventh, as Logan Schmidt reached after a strikeout due to an error by the Railsplitters and Steven Todoshuk walked to put runners on first and second with one out. However, reliever Ian Creager shut the door by inducing a strikeout and a ground out to keep LMU on top, 5-3.

The 'Splitters added another run in the bottom of the eighth, as Andre Rodriguez led off with a double and came around to score on a wild pitch. That was all the runs LMU needed, as Josh Coker pitched around a lead off single by Jose Sola to hold the Tornado at bay.

Wes Todd picked up the victory for the Railsplitters, moving to 3-1 on the season after putting in five innings of work in the start. Todd limited King to only three hits and three earned runs in the game while striking out four batters. The trio of Ian Creager, Nick Morabito and Josh Coker chipped in with four innings of relief work, as that group surrendered only one hit and no runs over that span. Josh Coker earned his second save of the season.

The Railsplitters out-hit the Tornado, 9-6, in the contest with Andre Rodriguez leading the way at the plate. Rodriguez turned in a three-for-four showing with one RBI and one run scored. Jacob West tallied two hits and a run, while Josh Coker led the squad with two RBI.

Wes Houser suffered the loss for the Tornado after allowing eight hits and four earned runs in six innings of work. He falls to 4-3 on the season in defeat.

Hunter Smith led King with a two-for-three showing at the plate.

The Railsplitters are scheduled to return to South Atlantic Conference play this weekend with a three-game set at Catawba College. First pitch in game one of that series is slated for 6 p.m. on Friday, April 5 in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Lincoln Memorial 6, King 3 (Apr 02, 2013 at Harrogate, TN)
King................ 000 300 000 - 3 6 1 (19-15)
Lincoln Memorial.... 003 101 01X - 6 9 3 (20-17)
Pitchers: King - Wes Houser; Brandon Houser(7); Ryan Nichols(7); Landon Weitekamp(8);
Chad Dixon(8) and Alex Azeredo. Lincoln Memorial - Wes Todd; Ian Creager(6); Nick Morabito(8);
Josh Coker(9) and Nolan Woody; Nick Pressley.
Win-Wes Todd(3-1) Save-Josh Coker(2) Loss-Wes Houser(4-3) T-2:00 A-100
Weather: Clear, low 50s
Related Item: Box Score
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