The Tornadoes won the first game 9-1 and they won the second game 8-2.
“Today was a good day at the baseball field,” TC head coach Will Ramos said. “It was a quick day against a good baseball team. Miles if I am not mistaken has won a lot of games in NCAA Division II. They came here today and we played tough. We are peaking at the right time. Now we are getting ready for the first conference game at Edwards Water in Jacksonville, Florida. We are excited.”
The Tornadoes (11-10) gave the ball to ace Viso Gabriel in the first game. The junior pitcher (3-1) had a solid outing in his first game since throwing a no-hitter last Thursday. In the second game Talladega native Ryan Pettus earned the win from the mound.
“Viso threw a good game again,” Ramos said. “He gave up two hits in five innings. In the second game Ryan threw five innings. Then we used some other guys like Matt Holland and Jake Tunn. I didn’t realize that I threw all lefties in the second game, but they did a good job. The pitching staff is tremendously good.”
Kameron Mizzell got things going for TC in the second inning of the second game. The former B.B. Comer standout hit a single down the right field line to score Ramon Cruz to make it 1-0.
An error on the shortstop on a Chase Benfield hit up the middle allowed Hector Justo and Christopher Castillo to score from second and third base to make it 3-0. George Santiago hit a double to left center field to bring in Benfield and Aldris Castillo to make it 5-0.
“Our hitting is peaking at the right time,” Ramos said. “Chase Benfield had a good game. Santiago had a good game at the plate. Branson [Honeycutt] and Justo had a very good game. When those four guys have a good day the plate we are very tough.”
In the fifth inning an error on the second baseman on a Benfield hit allowed Emmanuel Pina to score to make it 6-1. A sacrifice fly by Santiago scored Austin Drummonds from third to increase the Tornadoes lead to 7-1. Cruz’s RBI double scored Castillo to make it 8-1.
Castillo ended the game by catching a fly ball to right field. He then picked off the run that was trying to get back to first base.
“Castillo has a good arm,” Ramos said. “He is a big part of this team. He actually already threw two or three guys out from right field. He is kind of small and it is kind of awkward having a small guy play right field. The reason I do it is because he is a good defender, he is very fast and he has a very good arm. He probably has the best arm on the team. He is doing a good job; he is very aggressive and is not afraid to throw anywhere.”
Ramos appreciates the near-capacity crowd that came out to support the Tornadoes.
“I want to say thank you to the community,” Ramos said. “The good thing about playing at home is that it is different than playing anywhere else. When we play other places there are maybe 20 people and 10 of them are students. When we play at home it is like 100-150 people here all the time. We have the student support and the support from the community. That makes us play better and it makes us very proud of what we are doing. I want to say thank you to everyone that came.”