Cobras take first game of series 6-2February 26, 2016
BREVARD, N.C. – Brevard and Coker each held the other scoreless in seven innings Friday afternoon, but the Cobras’ propensity to score runs in bunches spelled the difference in a 6-2 win at Gil Coan Field to open South Atlantic Conference play for both schools.
The Cobras (12-3, 1-0 SAC) scored three runs in the fourth inning and chased Brevard (5-8, 0-1 SAC) starter Hunter Donaldson from the game with three more in the sixth. Brevard loaded the bases in the eighth, scoring once on an RBI fielder’s choice by Christian Dix to trim into the lead, but left two runners stranded on a strikeout to end the inning.
The Tornados scored their first run of the game on Kyle Morrison’s first home run of the season. Morrison flipped his bat and began trotting to first after what he thought was ball four, but the home plate umpire ruled that the pitch had caught the corner and called Morrison back to the plate.
The senior picked up his bat and stepped back into the box with the count now full and lifted the next pitch he saw from Dallas Baldwin over the fence in right field. The hit gave Brevard the lead two batters into the game but represented the only run the Tornados would score until Morrison came around to score on Dix’s fielder’s choice seven innings later.
Coker’s Bryson Conner singled to begin the third with the Cobras trailing 1-0. The next two Cobra batters were retired before Miguel Frias hit a first pitch single to put runners at the corners. Catcher Jack Leech recorded his second consecutive single to tie the score. Designated hitter Ryan Wayne then worked a full count, sending a Donaldson offering into the gap in left center to score two runs.
The Cobras added to their lead in the seventh with three more runs, with the biggest blow coming on a Thomas Lopez two-run single. Five Tornados reached base over the final two innings, but Brevard could not complete the comeback attempt.
Donaldson suffered the loss after giving up six runs in 6.1 innings of work. Jay Phillips closed out the seventh while Drake Black and Ryan Mercer pitched an inning each. The bullpen combined to hold Coker scoreless on two hits in 2.2 innings.
Dallas Baldwin earned his second win of the season in as many decisions for the Cobras. Anthony Scaccia picked up his first save after entering to protect a five-run lead with the bases loaded in the eighth.
Shortstop Pat Quinn was impressive defensively, raising his fielding percentage to .948 with two putouts and seven assists in his nine chances. He made several strong throws from deep in the hole, including retiring the final batter of the ninth on a 5-6-3 putout after a sharply-hit grounder ricocheted off third baseman Ryan Smith, and was part of Brevard’s 11th twin killing in 13 games this season.
The Tornados and Cobras will complete their three-game series with a doubleheader tomorrow. First pitch from Gil Coan Field is set for noon.