Chaplain pitches Brevard to doubleheader split, series win

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – A day after a complete-game seven-hitter by Hunter Donaldson, J.D. Chaplain powered Brevard to a doubleheader split, a series victory over Tusculum, and possibly into the postseason with an equally impressive effort in Brevard’s 6-3 Game One win.

Chaplain needed 119 pitches to complete the nine-inning affair, giving up three runs on seven hits. The line score, however, does not truly reflect Chaplain’s dominance in the contest. Tusculum (25-14, 17-9 SAC) notched all three of its runs and four of its seven hits over the final 1.1 innings when Chaplain began to tire. Two Pioneer runs scored on ninth-inning sacrifice flies, but Chaplain ended the game with his fifth strikeout to seal the victory.

Prior to the eighth inning, however, the Pioneers had no answer for the senior right-hander. He retired 23 of the first 27 batters he faced and had 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, fifth, and seventh. Chaplain became the fifth modern-era Brevard (19-24, 13-16 SAC) pitcher to throw a nine-inning complete game. Chaplain and Donaldson are the second Brevard duo to record back-to-back nine-inning performances, following in the footsteps of Kevin Hamilton and Zac Joyce against Lenoir-Rhyne a season ago.

Brevard had numerous important offensive contributions in the contest as well. John Slade was 1-for-5 with three runs batted in on a two-run double and an RBI groundout. Matthew Proffitt was one of three Tornados to record multiple hits on the day, finishing 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Brock Helton also knocked in three runs, including two on a home run to left center that opened the scoring in the third.

Ethan Carpenter was saddled with the loss for Tusculum after allowing six runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings. Reliever Michael Scott had a solid day at the office by keeping the Tornados off the board for the final 2.1 innings, stranding three runners in the eighth before retiring the side in order in the ninth.

The Pioneers salvaged the series with a 17-4 win in the day’s second contest to keep Brevard from earning a sweep. Six Pioneers had multi-hit days, including two four-hit performances, as Tusculum outpaced the Tornados 23-5 in the hit column. Brock Helton added two more RBI’s to his three from the first game on a fifth-inning double.

With the series win over Tusculum, Brevard concludes its league slate at 13-16. Eight teams receive bids to the South Atlantic Conference Tournament, which begins with a pair of games at Forest City, North Carolina’s McNair Field on Thursday, April 23. Nine of the other ten league teams have four or more conference games to play.

If scores around the conference at the time of publication hold, Brevard will end the day in eighth place in the standings. The Tornados will be forced to wait until next weekend’s games play out to know their postseason fate, but appear to be well-positioned to make their first postseason appearance since 2012.

Brevard concludes its regular season with nonconference home games against Limestone on Tuesday and Young Harris on Wednesday. Both games are slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.

Featured image provided by Tusculum Athletic Media Relations.

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