Eighth inning explosion powers Brevard past Anderson

Box Score

ANDERSON, S.C. – A seven-run eighth-inning by the Brevard offense coupled with a strong showing from the Tornados’ pitching staff led Brevard to an 11-5 victory over Anderson Saturday afternoon.

The Tornados (12-22, 3-12 SAC) sent 12 men to the plate in the eighth inning, plating seven runs on four hits and four errors by the Trojans’ (13-19, 7-8 SAC) defense to earn the victory in come-from-behind fashion.

Brevard found itself trailing 5-3 entering the eighth inning. Anderson had picked up an insurance run on a single to right field by Travis Smith, chasing starter Tyler Konzen from the game after giving up nine hits in 6.1 innings. Drake Black allowed a single and a walk to load the bases, but pitched out of the jam with a flyout to center that Brennan Allen’s strong arm prevented from becoming a sacrifice fly and a ground ball to Ryan Smith at third.

Energized by the defensive effort, the Brevard offense came alive in the next frame. The Tornados scored their first run of the inning without the benefit of a hit, taking advantage of a walk, a hit batsman, and two errors. Allen’s single to right center to score Brayden Morris tied the game before Schuyler Martire’s RBI groundout gave the Tornados the lead for the first time since taking a 1-0 advantage in the first inning.

Smith’s sacrifice fly and Blaine Durham’s single to right extended the advantage by a run apiece. Kyle Morrison’s hard-hit ground ball to second base could have ended the inning, but Anderson’s fourth error of the frame allowed two more runs to score, ballooning the advantage to 10-5.

Smith’s single up the middle gave Black a six-run advantage in the ninth. Two hit batsmen and a groundout placed two runners in scoring position with two outs, but Black froze Anderson’s Zach McIlroy with a fastball over the outside corner to close out the victory.

The Tornados had to claw their way back into the game after erasing a 3-1 deficit on a two-run Morris single in the third. Anderson catcher LJ Newman ensured that the tie would be short-lived in the bottom of the inning. He blasted a leadoff home run that ricocheted off a light pole beyond the scoreboard in left center before both pitching staffs settled into a groove, combining to face the minimum for five consecutive half-innings ending in the seventh.

Konzen pitched well in the no-decision, striking out five batters to tie Hunter Donaldson for the team lead on the season, while Black ran his record on the season to 3-0. Morris was a stalwart behind the plate, catching all 25 innings of the weekend series and going 6-for-10 with three RBI.

Durham and Pat Quinn led the Tornados with three hits apiece, with three other Tornados notching a pair. Six Brevard batters tallied at least one RBI, with Quinn leading the team by crossing the plate on three occasions.

Brevard will return to action on Tuesday with a 7:00 p.m. contest at North Greenville.

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