TALLADEGA -- Emillo Martinez drove in six runs and led the Talladega College baseball team past visiting Gulf Coast Atlantic Conference foe Tougaloo College (Mississippi) 16-0 in the opener of a three-game series Friday afternoon.
"I have been struggling since the start of the season and I have been trying to find myself," Martinez said. "Finally, I am finding myself, and today, I came out with six RBIs, and that is something that I can smile about. As long as my team gets the win, that is all that matters and that is all that we are looking for this time of the season."
TC batters had their way with Tougaloo pitchers the entire afternoon. The Tornadoes (22-12) recorded 15 hits, including a season-high four home runs.
Castellano put the Tornadoes on the board in the second inning with a towering solo homer to give TC a 1-0 lead.
TC scored three runs in the third to increase the margin to 4-0. Jesus Zapata grounded out to shortstop, allowing Emmanuel Amparo to score from third. Wilkin Louis' RBI single down the first-base line scored Jorge Rodriguez. Martinez hit a RBI single to centerfield to score Louis to increase the advantage to 4-0.
That would be more than enough run support for TC pitcher Kyle Chavez. The senior from St. Petersburg, Florida, had it going on the mound, allowing only three hits in five innings to claim the win.
"I wish I could have gone the whole game, but we are trying to save my pitch count for Tuesday when we play Georgia Gwinnett College," Chavez said. "They are a good, ranked team, and I am saving myself for them."
The Tornadoes ace and right-handed submariner was efficient, throwing only 54 pitches.
"I just wanted to throw a lot of strikes," Chavez said. "I didn't have to throw many off-speed pitches. I just wanted to keep a low pitch count the whole time, and I was able to do that."
Martinez hit a two-run double in the fifth to increase the lead to 6-0. Later in the inning, Daniel Keller hit a two-run shot over the left-center field wall to give the Tornadoes an 8-0 advantage.
The Tornadoes' power explosion continued in the sixth as they hit a pair of homers while pushing eight runs across the plate.
"I was honestly, looking for it," Martinez said. "We have a competition (to see) who can put the most out the yard. Gustavo (Castellano) got up to me, so I had to go up one on him. I couldn't let him get around me."
Castellano and Cameron Davis recorded RBI singles later in the inning to increase the lead to 13-0. Rodriguez also showed off his power as he hit a three-run shot to left to increase TC's advantage to 16-0.
In the second game, TC defeated Tougaloo, 8-4. The Tornadoes will look to sweep the series today. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m.