Brevard falls short against North GreenvilleMarch 22, 2016
BREVARD, N.C. – Runs in the eighth and ninth innings were not enough to erase a 6-0 deficit for Brevard against North Greenville on Tuesday afternoon as the Tornados fell 6-2 to the visiting Crusaders.
Brevard (11-20) scored twice in the final two frames to close the gap but fell victim to the Crusaders’ (21-9) potent offense. Held in check for most of the afternoon, North Greenville’s bats broke through with a three-run sixth that put the game out of reach.
Starter Jay Phillips pitched into the sixth frame but was chased after two singles and an error loaded the bases with nobody out. Switch-hitting shortstop Andrew Frazier, batting left against the right-handed Drake Black, turned on the second pitch he saw and sent a scorching double down the right field line to clear the bases. Frazier was gunned down at third on the relay, giving Brevard its second outfield assist of the afternoon, but the damage was done.
The hit hung three more runs on Phillips after the senior exited the game with the bases loaded two runs in. He pitched well in defeat, scattering four runs across his first five frames and taming an offense that scored 16 runs on 19 hits in the teams’ previous meeting on March 2.
Tyler Luneke was solid in relief for the Tornados. Taking the mound to begin the eighth, Luneke faced the minimum without allowing a hit. One batter was hit by a pitch and promptly caught stealing. Luneke also induced three groundouts and recorded three strikeouts.
Brevard notched eight hits on the afternoon, including two apiece from Brennan Allen and Christian Dix. Allen was responsible for Brevard’s first run after doubling to lead off the eighth. He came around to score on Christian Dix’s two-out single up the middle to chip into the Crusaders’ lead.
The Tornados scored another run in the ninth in the form of Josh Hall, who started the inning with a leadoff single. He was moved into scoring position on a groundout by Pat Quinn before Matthew Proffitt smacked a single to center four pitches later to drive him in.
Starter Tucker Burgess, coming back from Tommy John surgery, earned the win in a predetermined split for the Crusaders. The lanky right-hander pitched 4.0 innings and allowed three hits without a run, lowering his ERA to 0.90 on the season.
Brevard returns to action on Friday with a doubleheader at Anderson. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.