Wingate completes sweep with two wins Saturday

WINGATE, N.C. – The Brevard College baseball team suffered an agonizing sweep at the hands of Wingate on Saturday, falling 10-2 in the first game of the day before a walk-off single in the ninth inning of a scheduled seven-inning affair sealed the 6-5 win and a series sweep for the Bulldogs.

The Tornados (7-9, 3-8 SAC) appeared to seize early momentum in the first game, loading the bases with two outs on a single and two walks in the first inning. With the bases loaded, John Slade strode to the plate and ripped a first-pitch offering from Brett Morgan through the left side to score a pair of runs.

Wingate (12-3, 9-3 SAC) pitching, however, clamped down after Brevard’s first-inning outburst, scattering six hits across the remaining eight innings and striking out six hitters. The Bulldogs got a pair of runs off Tornados’ starter J.D. Chaplain in the first but were unable to push another run across until a three-run sixth broke the game open. Wingate then added five runs in the seventh to pull away for the lopsided victory.

The second game also started auspiciously for the Tornados, who pushed across five unearned runs in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead and sent 10 men to the plate. The Bulldogs committed two errors in the inning. An RBI groundout from Hunter Donaldson and a Kody Spencer RBI single began the scoring before two runs were plated on a single by John Slade and a throwing error by the shortstop on the play. A passed ball with the bases loaded led to the final run of the inning to up Brevard’s advantage to five runs.

The Bulldogs roared back with two runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. Neither team was able to gain an advantage in the pressure-packed seventh and eighth frames. Brevard put two runners on with two outs in the top of the ninth only to have its final batter go down swinging on three pitches, inciting an enthused celebration from the home dugout.

In the bottom of the inning, Josh Clark reached on a one-out walk, then advanced to second on a passed ball. Tyler Konzen struck out a pinch hitter to get the second out of the inning before facing Brad Cherry with Clark in scoring position. Cherry smacked a full-count offering through the right side and Clark rounded the bag to come for home. Right fielder Brennan Allen, who has five assists this year, charged the ball and threw home, but the throw was up the first base line and the Bulldogs won 6-5 in walk-off fashion.

The Tornados next compete on Wednesday at Finch Field, home of the Coastal Plain League’s Thomasville Hi-Toms, in a neutral-site affair with Barton. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

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