Tornados split doubleheader at King

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Brevard College baseball team fell 3-0 in the 2015 season opener before bouncing back to take the second game of a doubleheader 7-1 at King University on Saturday afternoon.

King (1-1), last year’s Conference Carolinas Tournament runner-up, was aided in Game One by the corner outfield tandem of Preston Douglas and Ryan Whitt. In both the first and fifth innings, Douglas was driven home by a Whitt single to left field, providing all the run support Alex Martin would need. The stocky right-hander scattered six hits over 6.0 innings of work, walking one and striking out five before giving way to Nathan Helke for the save.

The Tornados (1-1) mounted a scoring threat in the third inning, loading the bases with one out. Joey Macaluso laced a single to right field with one out before a Pat Quinn to left field put two runners on. Joseph Mesi coaxed a walk after being down 0-2 in the count, but a Hunter Donaldson ground ball to the shortstop ended the inning.

Brevard escaped a similar jam in the fourth frame. King loaded the bases on an error, a walk, and a single with one out that signaled the end of the day for starting pitcher Zac Joyce. Tyler Konzen came in to face Joe Ganger with Cody Rogers on deck. The right-handed sophomore struck both batters out looking to keep the Tornado from blowing the game open.

The Tornados fell behind 1-0 in the second inning of Game Two after stranding a pair of runners in the top of the inning. King’s lead would be short-lived, however, as Brevard pulled ahead with two runs in the fourth. Ryan Smith singled on the first pitch he saw from starter Jose Sola, then was moved to second a pitch later on a groundout to the mound by Mesi. Hunter Donaldson’s RBI single tied the game at one before he came around to score on a Brennan Allen double down the left field line.

The Tornados scored two more runs on a Matthew Proffitt single to left field in the sixth before breaking the game open in the seventh. Mesi, Josh Hall, and Proffitt all recorded RBI singles to put Brevard ahead 7-1. Donaldson, however, was the offensive hero for the Tornados, hitting safely in all four at-bats, scoring two runs, and recording an RBI.

Kyle Pittman earned the win after giving up a run on three hits in 4.0 innings of work. Teke Scudder earned a three-inning save, holding King at bay by allowing only one hit as the offense came alive in the late innings.

Brevard will next travel to McNair Field in Forest City, North Carolina, site of the 2015 SAC Tournament, for a neutral-site affair with nonconference foe Pfeiffer on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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