Tornados bested by Anderson in SAC Baseball ChampionshipApril 23, 2015
FOREST CITY, N.C. – Playing its first postseason game since 2012 and seeking its first conference tournament win in the Division II era, seventh-seeded Brevard fell victim to a six-run Anderson seventh inning in a 12-3 loss to the sixth-seeded Trojans in the opening round of the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship.
The Tornados (19-26) trailed 4-3 after single runs in each of the middle innings before the Trojans (21-28) pounced for six runs in the seventh inning off Brevard starter Hunter Donaldson, four of which came on home runs by Nick Bernardo and Steven Cooper. Anderson added two more runs in the eighth inning to pull away for their final nine-run margin.
Brevard managed 10 hits in the contest but stranded 11 runners on the basepaths. The Tornados were unable to score in the first inning after loading the bases with two outs against Anderson starter Nick Contafio, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Contafio only threw 21 pitches in the contest after succumbing to a back injury before the second inning. David Thompson, who earned a no-decision after giving up four runs in the second game of the teams’ series on April 3, was credited the win after giving up two runs on four hits through three innings of work.
Brevard was forced to come from behind throughout the entire contest after Anderson struck first with a single run in the second inning. Catcher LJ Newman, who hit .545 against the Tornados in the teams’ series Easter weekend, led off the inning with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a groundout to second base. Left fielder Garrett Bernardo laced a grounder up the middle that glanced off John Slade’s glove for an RBI single to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
The Trojans added another run to their advantage on a third-inning RBI single by Cooper, who batted in six runs on two hits. He was one of five Trojans to finish the game with multiple hits as Anderson hit .361 in the contest. Brevard’s Christian Dix, Ryan Smith, and Donaldson, also finished with two hits apiece.
With the Tornados trailing 2-0, Ryan Smith opened the scoring for Brevard with a fourth-inning RBI single, scoring Matthew Proffitt from third after the center fielder reached on a leadoff walk. After giving up a pair of Anderson runs in the bottom of the inning, Brevard added another run in the fifth on Hunter Donaldson’s first-pitch single up the middle. The Tornados plated their final run of the game in the sixth, when Smith came home on an RBI groundout by Blaine Durham.
Brevard’s season comes to a close following the defeat, which was the first SAC Baseball Championship victory in Anderson’s history. The Trojans return to McNair Field Friday at noon to face top-seeded Catawba, the No. 1 team in the most recent Southeast Region poll.