Tornados split double-header with Coker, take two of three games during weekend

BREVARD, N.C. – The Brevard College baseball team split a double header with South Atlantic Conference (SAC) foe Coker, winning the first game, 6-5, before falling in game two, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon at Gil Coan Field.

After being ahead for a majority of the contest in game one, the Tornados (4-2, 2-1 SAC) found themselves trailing, 5-4, in the home half of the eighth inning. With one out and pinch runner, Josh Hall on first, Kody Spencer came to the plate and blasted the first pitch he saw over the left field wall to put Brevard up 6-5.

Relief pitcher Chip Helton (1-0) pitched himself out of a ninth inning jam after allowing the first two batters to reach base for his first win of the season.

The Tornados wasted little time to get on the scoreboard as lead-off man Brennan Allen reached in a single up the middle on the first pitch of the game. Two batters later, he scored from third as Joseph Mesi reached on a fielder’s choice.

The Cobras (2-3, 1-2 SAC) looked to cut the lead in half in the top of the third as Will Winslow led the inning off with a walk. He stole second, and advanced to third on a ground out but was gunned down at home following a fly out by Alex Rodriguez, by Allen who threw a perfect ball to Spencer at the plate to preserve the shutout.

That helped Brevard starting pitcher, Zac Joyce be efficient through the first three innings while striking out four of the first nine batters he faced. Joyce finished the game going four and a third innings, giving up three hits, three runs while striking out five and walking four.

Brevard tacked on another run in the third as Christian Dix scored on an RBI double by Allen. Coker answered in the top of the fourth. Bryson Conner singled, advanced to second on a heads up play following a fly out to centerfield, and then later scored on a Tyler Osik single to right field.

The Tornados answered in the home half to extend their lead to two but the Cobras tied it in the fifth, chasing Joyce from the game with two outs in the fifth. Joyce walked the first two batters of the inning. Dustin Russell singled in Miguel Frias while Winslow was thrown out, trying to advance to third. The next batter, Alex Rodriguez, doubled in Russell before Teke Scudder came in to relief Joyce. Scudder hit the first two batters he faced before getting Taylor Fennewald to ground into an inning ending double play.

Brevard regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth before Coker answered with two runs in the top of the eighth to set the stage for Spencer’s late inning heroics.

Anthony Scaccia (0-1) took the loss for Coker pitching two innings in relief, giving up two runs on two hits and walking two. Starting pitcher Matthew Prosser went six full, giving up six hits, four runs (three earned) while walking four and got one strikeout.

In game two, it was a pitching duel throughout the contest as both starting pitchers cruised through the first three innings with ease.  Coker scored the games’ only run in the fourth inning. Tornados starter, Kyle Pittman (1-1) got Osik to ground out to begin the inning. However, he let the next three batters reach base as Frias reached on hard grounder to the first baseman followed by Scaccia being hit by a pitch.

Russell then singled through the left side to score Frias from second base for the lone run. Rodriguez then grounded into a double play to end the threat, but the damage had been done. Coker starter, Forest Arnold, who entered the home half of the fourth retiring the last five Tornados batters, went on to retire the next 11 he faced before walking Donaldson in the sixth.

He got himself out of a jam after Mesi reached on a two out error before Slade grounded to first to end the threat. Arnold pitched the complete seven innings for the win, giving up three hits, while striking out five and walking only two.

Pittman took the loss going five innings while scattering five hits, one run, striking out two, and walking one.

Allen went 3-for-8 on the afternoon, scoring a run while Christian Dix went 3-for-5 on the afternoon for the Tornados. Spencer went 1-for-3 on the day but knocked in three RBI’s for the Allen, Mesi, and Slade each had an RBI while Matthew Proffitt scored two runs.

The Tornados return on action on Tuesday when they travel to Franklin Springs, Georgia to face non-conference foe Emmanuel. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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