Wingate uses big inning to take Game One of seriesApril 8, 2016
WINGATE, N.C. – Making its first-ever appearance on a televised broadcast, the Brevard College baseball team dropped an 11-5 decision at Wingate after the Bulldogs scored eight times in the fourth inning to build a commanding lead.
The Bulldogs (23-16, 7-9 SAC) entered the inning attempting to break a 1-1 tie. They did so by sending 13 men to the plate in the frame, notching seven singles, a double, and benefitting from a pair of walks to break the game open. Starter Kyle Pittman was chased with two outs in the inning after the Bulldogs spoiled what looked to be an impressive outing, with the junior giving up a run on four hits while striking out three through the first three frames.
Brevard (12-29, 3-16 SAC) had opened up the scoring on a disastrous first-inning defensive sequence for Wingate. Brennan Allen ripped a double into center that was mishandled by the Bulldogs’ outfielder, allowing Allen to take third. He then scored on a wild relay throw by the shortstop to give Brevard the lead four pitches into the contest. His run became earned on a booming double by Ryan Smith two batters later, but Smith was stranded at second before he could impose further damage.
Wingate used two singles sandwiched around a groundout to tie the score in the bottom of the inning before both starting pitchers settled in, with neither team able to break through offensively until the Bulldogs’ eight-run fourth. The hosts then added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth.
Brevard struck for a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning before Pat Quinn followed singles by Blaine Durham and Schuyler Martire with an RBI double, cutting the gap to seven runs. Brevard got another run in the eighth after three consecutive two-out walks and a fielding error, but a flyout to shallow right ended the threat.
Bulldogs’ starter Jordan Newsome earned the win, scattering eight hits across six innings of work. He allowed eight hits and two walks while equaling his career high with nine strikeouts. Three other Bulldog pitchers combined to hold Brevard to a single over the final three innings.
Smith and Martire each tallied multi-hit games for Brevard. Eight of the Tornados' nine starters notched a hit on the evening, with the fourth through ninth spots in the order batting a combined .360 with eight of Brevard's 10 hits. Wingate saw five players record at least two hits, led by a 4-for-5, four RBI night from third baseman Colby Barnette.
The Tornados are in the midst of their second consecutive trip to Ron Christopher Stadium after the South Atlantic Conference adopted a new scheduling format prior to this season. Teams now face eight league opponents rather than seeing all 10 other institutions in a round-robin format, leading some series from 2015 to be repeated this season.
Today’s contest also marked the first-ever ESPN3 appearance for the Brevard baseball program following Wingate’s offseason agreement to become the first Division II school with an exclusive streaming partnership through ESPN. The broadcast was shown nationally on watchespn.com, bringing unprecedented exposure to head coach Matt McCay’s program.
The Tornados and Bulldogs will conclude their season series with a pair of games Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Featured image courtesy of Neil Hayes. Click here to view more photos by Neil.