Durham sets single-game RBI record in doubleheader split

HICKORY, N.C. – A career day at the plate for sophomore Blaine Durham powered Brevard to a 12-7 victory in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at Lenoir-Rhyne before the Bears took the series with a 15-2 win in the rubber game.


Durham, a corner infielder and left-handed pitcher from Boone, set the Brevard (13-16, 8-12 SAC) NCAA-era record with seven runs batted in his first start of the season at the designated hitter position. He finished the contest 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly, a three-run double, and a three-run bomb in helping Brevard explode for 12 runs through the first four innings.


The Tornados wasted no time in opening up an insurmountable lead in the contest. Brevard sent nine men to the batter’s box, five of whom crossed the plate, in the first inning. Two singles and a pair of walks gave the Tornados their first run and chased starter Tad Ratliff from the contest before the first out was recorded. Moments later, John Slade smacked a triple down the right field line to score three runs. Durham brought home the fifth run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to straightaway center.


Brevard scored an additional four runs with another big inning in the second. Ryan Smith was hit by a pitch with the bases clear to begin a two-out rally. Slade notched another RBI with a single to left center before Durham strode to the plate with the bases loaded. His double to right field cleared the bases to give the Tornados a nine-run advantage. He then launched a three-run home run over the fence in right field in the fourth inning to give Brevard a 12-0 edge.


Starting pitcher J.D. Chaplain held Lenoir-Rhyne’s (19-12, 8-10 SAC) offense at bay throughout much of the game. The Bears scored four times in the sixth inning to cut Brevard’s advantage to eight runs, but managed just three hits through the first five innings. Tyler Konzen entered the game to begin the seventh and withstood a late rally. He sat down the first six batters he faced before a three-run home run with one out in the ninth closed the gap to five runs.


The Bears led 5-2 entering the bottom of a disastrous fifth inning for the Tornados in the afternoon’s second contest. Ten of the 14 Lenoir-Rhyne hitters in the inning came in to score as the Bears pounded out 10 hits and forced Brevard to cycle through four pitchers.


Brevard held a brief lead early in the contest. The Tornados tied the game at one run apiece in the second inning when Slade scored on a wild pitch and took the lead in the third on a solo home run by Matthew Proffitt. The Bears regained the advantage with a four-run fourth before distancing themselves in the fifth.


Starting pitcher Ivan Vieitez earned the win with a complete-game performance, while Brevard’s Zac Joyce suffered the loss after surrendering five runs, including three unearned, in four innings of work. Hunter Donaldson was held hitless in the second contest, snapping an eight-game hitting streak and an 11-game reached-base streak.


The Tornados will seek to get back into the win column on Tuesday as the team travels to Young Harris. First pitch is slated for 5:00 p.m.

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