TC sweeps Tougaloo
by LaVonte Young
TALLADEGA - The Talladega Tornadoes swept Tougaloo in a double header on Saturday afternoon to move into sole possession of the top seed in the Gulf Coast Atlantic conference.

TC won the first game 12-1 and the held on to win the second game 5-3.

“Two big wins after yesterday’s win,” TC head coach Will Ramos said. “The pitchers pitched well. (Ryne) Drummonds gave me a good outing as well as (Ryan) Pettus. At the end we went to the bullpen. Pettus gave me four quality innings, then he got tired and the balls were getting high. Everyone that came out of the bullpen did a great job. Today was a big win at home. It feels great to be back at home with this weather, great people and we had a lot of fans. After losing seven times, it feels good to be at home.”

In the first game, TC’s ace Ryne Drummonds had another stellar outing. The former Sylacauga standout struck out five batters, he allowed an earned run and he walked a batter in 5 1/3 innings of action. Matt Holland pitched the last 1 2/3 innings to seal the victory for TC.

Tougaloo got on the board first in the third innings. TC responded in the bottom half of the frame with six runs.

The Tornadoes (24-19, 7-2) continued to pound the Tougaloo pitcher. TC added three in the fourth inning, a run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth inning.

Chris Castillo and Kody Etheridge drove in three runs a piece for TC. Former B.B.Comer standout Kameron Mizzell hit his 11th double of the season, which drove in two runs for TC. Brandon Roberts, Will Thompson and Luis Benitez drove in a run apiece for TC.

In the second game of the double header, TC capitalized off Tougaloo mistakes and they also were able to get timely hits when needed.

The Tornadoes got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. George Santiago’s sacrifice fly was deep enough to score Chase Benfield from third base to make it 1-0.

Tougaloo tied the game up at 1-1 in the third inning.

Brandon Roberts hit a RBI single to score Luis Benitez to give TC a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

Santiago once again came up with a timely hit for the Tornadoes. With the bases loaded and two out, the junior hit a double to right field that allowed Austin Drummonds and Dion Duncan to score to make it 4-1.

“We had some timely hits from Georgie, Kameron and Chase,”Ramos said. “Hitting has always been there, it is just catching the ball and pitching a little bit better like we worked on this week. We worked on guys catching and throwing it pretty well and that is what we did today.”

Benitez scored on a pass ball to increase TC’s lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning.

In the sixth inning, TC pitcher Viso Gabrielle struggled to find the strike zone. Gabrielle hit the first batter he faced and walked the next batter. He allowed a single to load the bases. Gabrielle walked in a run to make it 5-3, which led Ramos to pulling him. Benfield came in and got the Tornadoes out of the inning. He got a ground ball, which Austin Drummond turned into a double to play, but a Tougaloo batter scored to make it 5-3.

A ground out to the second baseman ended the rally.

With a lead in the conference, Ramos has started to rest some of his players, so they can be ready for the postseason.

“We are first in the GCACC, Ramos said. “We have 10 more games on the schedule. We are ready to get to the tournament. We are going to get the kids that have been playing a lot some rest like: (Dion) Duncan, Mario and some people that we have hurt right now.”

© 2013