Tornados upended by Mars Hill

Box Score

MARS HILL, N.C. – Meeting in a rare nonconference showdown, homestanding Mars Hill defeated Brevard 6-1 at Henderson Field on Wednesday afternoon.

The Tornados (16-20) and Lions (14-16) have already completed their three-game South Atlantic Conference series, which produced two Brevard wins on March 6 and 7 and an AstroTurf SAC Pitcher of the Week award for Brevard’s Tyler Konzen. Due to proximity, the teams agreed to play a fourth time this season, which does not count statistically as a league game.

Mars Hill did all of its damage in the third and fourth innings, plating six runs on six hits and a Brevard error to take an insurmountable lead. The Lions chased starter James Phillips from the contest after an error, a hit by pitch, and three consecutive hits to open the frame. All four runs in the inning were charged to Phillips before Mars Hill tacked on two more in the fourth against his replacement Tyler Timms.

The Tornados struggled defensively, committing an uncharacteristic four errors and surrendering 11 total hits in the contest while managing four of their own. The Tornados were able turn two double plays after entering the contest second only to Western Oregon in twin killings in Division II.

Joseph Mesi’s fourth-inning RBI kept the Tornados from being blanked on the afternoon. Christian Dix stood at second base after a one-out single and a groundout. Mesi’s double into the gap in left center brought Dix around to score and inched Brevard closer before Mars Hill’s two runs in the bottom of the inning widened the gap.

Starting pitcher Zac Brown earned the victory for the Lions, giving up four hits in 5.1 innings and tallying three strikeouts. A trio of relievers held Brevard hitless over the final 3.2 innings, allowing just two baserunners and smothering any chance at a late-innings rally.

Brevard will attempt to bounce back with a crucial weekend series in conference play at Anderson. The teams will play two games on Friday before finishing with a single game Saturday to accommodate Easter plans for student-athletes, coaches, and support staff of both squads. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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