Tornados strand 14 runners, lose 12-7 to North Greenville
Pruitt shines bright in losing effort
Brevard, N.C. - North Greenville scored nine runs in the 4th inning and held on thanks to 14 stranded Brevard runners, beating the Tornados, 12-7, Wednesday afternoon at Gil Coan Field. The win is the first of the season for the Crusaders over an NCAA Division II opponent.
Chad Drosieko (1-1; Easley, S.C.) started and pitched five innings for the victory, allowing six runs on nine hits while striking out three batters. Devin Vance (Taylors, S.C.) pitched the final four innings and picked up his first save of the season, allowing just a single run while fanning six. Vance also tallied 2 RBI at the plate. Jacob White (0-3; Elkin, N.C.) took the loss for Brevard, allowing seven runs in three innings of work.
Dayton Lupton (Milner, Ga.) had a big day at the plate for the Crusaders, going 3-4 with 4 RBI. Matthew Pruitt (Hendersonville, N.C.) had the best day of any Tornado; the freshman was 1-5 at the plate with 2 RBI and pitched the final six innings on the mound, allowing just one run. Kellen Moman (Greenville, S.C.) hit his first career home run for the Tornados.
The Crusaders (3-16) got on the board first in the 2nd inning. With two on and two out, Lupton pulled a double to the left center gap, scoring a pair to make the score 2-0.
The Tornados (5-8, 0-3 South Atlantic Conference) responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. After back-to-back singles from Hendersonville, N.C. natives Jason Merrill and Josh Miller, Moman launched a moon shot over the left field wall to put Brevard up, 3-2. Three batters later, Spencer Linn (Fletcher, N.C.) came up with an RBI single, and Pruitt tacked on an RBI groundout to make the score 5-2.
North Greenville put on an offensive clinic in the 4th. The first nine men reached, and all of them touched home. With the bases loaded, Lupton singled through the middle to score a run, starting the merry-go-round. David Frazier (Snellville, Ga.) followed with an RBI single of his own, prompting coach Todd Anderson to summon Tommy Yearty (Satellite Beach, Fla.) from the bullpen. Yearty hit the first batter he faced, Randy Stegall (Pauline, S.C.) to tie the game at 5, then Cory Hinton (Rock Hill, S.C.) gave NGU the lead with an RBI single of his own. Two more runs scored when the next batter, Derek Fulmer (Pelion, S.C.) reached base on an error by Brevard's Stephen Mullis (Charlotte, N.C.), and Justin Walters (Laurel Hill, N.C.) sent Yearty to the showers with an RBI single of his own to make the score 9-5. After Pruitt moved from 2nd base to the mound, two more runs scored, on an RBI groundout from Vance and a single from Lupton to make it 11-5 Crusaders.
The road team tacked on a run in the 6th, when a sac fly from Vance scored Anthony Foulk (Genoa, Ill.) to make it 12-5.
Brevard scored a run in the bottom of the 6th when Merrill drew a walk with the bases loaded, but Bryant Smith (Florence, S.C.) struck out with the bases juiced to end the rally at 12-6. The final Tornado run came in the 7th, on a run-scoring groundout from Pruitt, but again the Tornados stranded a pair after Mullis was retired via strikeout to end the frame.
Brevard is back at Gil Coan Field Thursday for a 3 p.m. meeting with Davis & Elkins. North Greenville's next game is also against Davis & Elkins, on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.