High-powered offense overwhelms VulcansMarch 7, 2016
THOMASVILLE, N.C. – Brevard cruised to an 18-9 win in a neutral-site game with California University of Pennsylvania on Monday afternoon behind its most productive offensive day in nearly four years.
The Tornados (7-14) pounded out 20 hits in the contest, tied with a 21-16 win at Lincoln Memorial on March 31, 2012 for the second-most hits since Brevard joined the NCAA ranks prior to the 2009 season. Brevard had eight players score multiple runs, eight record at least two hits, and scored 10 runs in a disastrous seventh inning for the Vulcans (4-8).
Hunter Donaldson, who started the game at third base before moving across the diamond to his more natural position midway through the afternoon, went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three batted in. Ryan Smith joined Donaldson with three hits and also scored twice. Blaine Durham was 2-for-5 but made the most of his opportunities, recording four RBI’s on a groundout and two doubles. And Schuyler Martire recorded two hits, two RBI’s, and a run scored in his three trips to the plate despite entering the game as a defensive substitution in the bottom of the sixth inning.
While Brevard’s offense stole the show, Drake Black stood out for his performance on the mound as well. The sophomore right-hander worked 3.1 innings of scoreless relief in support of starter Nathan Volz. He allowed four hits but kept the Vulcans off the scoreboard, picking up his first win of the season and lowering his ERA to a team-best 2.89 in the process.
Although the final score was lopsided, the outcome was in doubt until the late innings. The teams traded the lead several times during the early portions. The Vulcans looked to be in control of the contest in the fourth inning, when a walk, a single, and a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt attempt loaded the bases for shortstop Brandon Warner.
Warner crushed the first pitch he saw well over the fence in left for a grand slam, giving Cal the lead at 5-3. The blow sapped all the momentum Brevard gained one frame earlier, when the Tornados scored two runs without the benefit of a hit to pull ahead 3-1.
But Brevard responded immediately with three runs in the top of the fifth and another to retake a one-run lead in the top of the sixth before sending 14 men to the plate in the seventh. Three Tornados reached safely twice during the frame, forcing the Vulcans to use three pitchers and ending any hope of a comeback.
The Tornados will have Tuesday off before traveling to face Limestone on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.