Brevard swept by Tusculum

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Tusculum completed a baseball sweep of Brevard on Saturday, winning a tight 5-2 affair in the day’s first game before limiting the Tornados to one hit in a 10-0 victory in Game Two.

Tusculum broke through against Brevard starter Hunter Donaldson with five runs in the first three innings of Game One, enabling the Pioneers to coast to a comfortable victory in the first game of the afternoon. Dante Key and Kevin Victoriano hit consecutive one-out doubles in the first inning before Creighton Wilke’s two-run shot down the right field line put the Pioneers ahead 3-0.

A groundout and a single through the left side in the third inning extended the cushion to five runs. Tusculum had a golden opportunity to tack on insurance runs against relief pitcher Tyler Luneke in the seventh, who entered with no outs and runners on first and second in relief of Drake Black. Luneke induced a popup on a bunt attempt before giving up an infield single, loading the bases with one out.

Luneke threw a first-pitch strike to Jeremy Glore before falling behind 3-1 in the count. Luneke got Glore to roll over his next offering, with the pinch hitter rolling into a 6-4-3 twin killing to end the inning and the Tusculum threat.

The Tornados got a run back in the sixth inning on a Christian Dix sacrifice fly that scored Josh Hall. Black then worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the frame, getting a first-pitch popup on the infield to end the inning.

Brevard had the tying run at the plate after two singles, a wild pitch that scored Christian Dix from third, and a walk. But Devan Watts needed just seven pitches to strike out the final two Tornados to notch his third save of the season and preserve the three-run Tusculum victory.

Christian Raasch earned the win for Tusculum after being lifted for Watts with one out in the ninth. He gave up two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings, striking out 10 hitters while allowing two walks. Donaldson’s record dropped to 1-4 with the loss. The senior notched six strikeouts in 5.0 innings on the mound.

The Pioneers again pulled ahead in the early stages of the second game, chasing starter Tyler Konzen from the game with one out in the third. Konzen gave up eight runs on eight hits in his time on the mound, including a five-run second inning highlighted by a two-run single from Zack Finchum.

Tusculum starter Ethan Carpenter improved to 3-2 with five innings of work, with McKenly Berry and Cameron Carney combining to pitch perfect frames in the sixth and seventh. Brennan Allen’s infield single to lead off the fourth represented Brevard’s only hit of the afternoon.

Brevard returns to action on Tuesday with a doubleheader at Montreat. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

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