Clark blasts Tornados to split with Crimson Hawks, 14-8 and 7-6
Litaker picks up first win of the season in relief for Brevard
Brevard, N.C. - Kramer Clark drove in five runs in the first game of the doubleheader as the Tornados topped the visiting Crimson Hawks on Tuesday afternoon at Gil Coan Field, but Indiana University of Pennsylvania rallied behind back-to-back RBI singles by Dylan Songer and Aaron Lupia in the nightcap as Brevard and IUP split the doubleheader 14-8 and 7-6.
Brevard moves to 14-11 on the season, while IUP moves to 6-7-1 in the 2012 campaign.
Game One: Brevard 14, IUP 8
Clark and Cody Queen combined to drive in eight runs and five different Tornados crossed the plate multiple times, while Alex Litaker (1-0) pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief as Brevard overcame a pair of solo home runs by the Crimson Hawks in the first inning to give the Tornados the victory.
Robbie Zinsmeister and Songer hit solo home runs in the top of the first inning of BC starter Zach Huneycutt to open the scoring, but Brevard answered with six runs in the bottom half of the frame to take the early lead in the contest.
Queen drilled a two-run single in the inning, scoring Tarron Robinson and Zach Merriken before Clark cleared the bases with a three-run blast to put Brevard up. Chad Funkhouser added a run scoring single in the inning to give Brevard the 6-2 lead in the first.
Zinsmeister continued to have the hot stick early in the contest, drilling a two-run double for the Crimson Hawks in the second frame and he came around to score on a BC error to cut the Brevard lead back to within one run.
IUP rallied to take the lead in the top of the fourth as Songer brought in a run after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing Litaker into the contest for the Tornados in relief of Thomas Gill. Two more runs crossed the plate in the frame as Lupia and Troy Foster came around to score to put IUP up 8-6.
The lead was short-lived however, as the Tornados rallied back with eight runs in the bottom half of the inning as Brevard sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame with Clark and Champ Stuart providing the majority of the damage in the inning driving in two runs apiece with Clark doubling in Queen and Funkhouser, while Stuart brought home Bennett Hixson and Randy O’Dell. Robinson also drove in a pair of runs in the inning with a single and a sacrifice fly as Brevard went up 14-8.
Litaker closed out the game, going the rest of the distance for Brevard as the Crimson Hawks were unable to push across another run in the contest as the Tornados took the win in the first game.
Game Two: IUP 7, Brevard 6
Christian Christopoulos went a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate to lead the Brevard offense as the Tornados placed runners in scoring position in the seventh inning in an effort to send the game into extra innings, but Austin Mock closed out the win for the Hawks, recording his second save of the season as IUP recorded the split with the Tornados.
The Crimson Hawks again opened the scoring in the first inning as Songer doubled in Zinsmeister off BC starter Tyler Lequire, but the Tornados regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Robinson doubled in Stuart and Funkhouser scored Robinson with a base hit to give the Tornados the 2-1 lead.
Queen drove in the third run of the contest for Brevard in the bottom of the third after Funkhouser opened the frame with a double and recorded the rare steal of third base. Renegar brought in Clark with a sacrifice fly later in the inning to give BC the 4-1 lead after three innings of play.
IUP retook the lead in the fourth inning as Brett Quiggle opened the scoring with an RBI double to left center scoring Lupia, while Mike Lupia tied the game up in the inning with a two-run single through the left side of the infield to knot the game at 4 apiece. Foster put the Crimson Hawks ahead with a two-out RBI single, scoring Zinsmeister to put IUP up 5-4.
Brevard answered in the fifth frame, going back up 6-5 helped in part by a pair of IUP errors on the same play. Christopoulos reached on a one-out single up the middle, sending Armacost to the plate, and the senior centerfielder dropped down a bunt in the infield. The throw to first sailed down the first baseline, and the relay home attempting to catch Christopoulos went into the fence near the BC dugout as both players rounded the bases to give the Tornados the advantage.
IUP rallied back to retake the lead for the final time in the next half inning as Songer singled in Zinsmeister and Aaron Lupia followed with the go-ahead RBI single, scoring Mike Lupia to give the Crimson Hawks the 7-6 lead.
Brevard threatened in the seventh inning, putting runners on first and second with one out, but Mock escaped the jam with a fly out and game-ending fielder’s choice to end the contest.
Brevard remains at home on Wednesday, March 14th, as the Tornados welcome Pfeiffer University to Gil Coan Field. First pitch in the nine-inning contest between the Tornados and the Falcons is set for 3 p.m.