Tornados split doubleheader, grab first SAC win

Pruitt goes the distance in game two

Greeneville, Tenn.-The Brevard College baseball team split a Saturday double header against Tusculum College at Pioneer Park in Greenville, TN. Tusculum won 2-1 in the opener, despite seven and a third innings of three strikeout work from Brevard starter Brennan Daniels.

Brevard came back in the second game to notch its first victory of the season with a 4-3 win, scoring three runs in the fourth inning as Matthew Pruitt pitched a complete game for his first win of the year.

With the split the Tornados stand at 1-7 and 1-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. Tusculum is 7-7 this year and 3-3 in conference.

Game 1: Tusculum 2, Brevard 1

Kramer Clark provided the offense for Brevard in game one, going two for four with a leadoff home run in the fourth inning.

The Pioneers got on the board first in their half of the second as Payden Houser hit a one-out double to center field on a 3-2 pitch. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on an Aaron Guinn single through the left side.

Tusculum scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Center fielder Nate Grabowski hit a leadoff single through the middle, advanced to third on a passed ball with one out, and scored on a Sean Cotton single.

Brevard went down in order to end game one. Daniels picks up his first loss of the season. Jacob Koontz pitched two thirds of an inning and struck out one. Taylor Rakes started for Tusculum, pitching six and two thirds innings, and allowing one run on five hits while striking out five. Rakes got no decision. Ty Collins came on in relief, going two and a third giving up one hit and striking out two. Eric Renegar, Jackie Corn, Ronald Patterson, and Josh Case got hits for the Tornados in the loss. Six Pioneer players had at least two hits.

Game 2: Brevard 4, Tusculum 3

The Tornados took the lead in the third inning of game two and would never trail. Stephen Mullis reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs in the inning. After getting to second on a wild pitch, Mullis scored on a Kellen Moman RBI single to right field. Brevard broke things open in the fourth, scoring three runs on two hits and benefiting from two Tusculum errors. Pruitt led off the inning reaching first on an error by shortstop Brett Murcurio. Ronald Patterson followed with a base hit to right field. M.A. Dozier reached on a fielding error by Houser, allowing Patterson to get to third and Pruitt to score. Dozier stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error from catcher Sean Finucance which plated Patterson for another unearned run. Josh Case added a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Dozier.

Tusculum plated single runs in the fourth and fifth. Houser led off and reached on an Renegar throwing error and later scored on a Finucane single to right.

Aaron Guinn led off the fifth with a walk, got to second on a Mercurio sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Rolondo Bonner single.

In the final frame Pruitt got Ty Collins to fly out to center to lead off the seventh. Guinn struck out swinging. Pinch hitter Jared Richmond provided a little drama with a solo home run to right field on a 3-2 pitch. Bonner walked, was pinch run for by Eric Barclay, who ended the game getting gunned down trying to steal second as Jackie Corn threw to Kramer Clark for a 4-3 putout to end the game.

Clark recorded two hits in each game. Stephen Mullis went one for two with a run. Pruitt was a workhorse, going the distance and throwing 101 pitches. He is 1-0 this year. Raymond Ruggles took the loss, falling to 2-1 on the year. He pitched three and a third, allowing four runs, only one earned, on five hits, striking out one and walking two.

Tusculum travels to Wingate for a three game series beginning March 5 at 7 p.m. The Tornados return to Gil Coan Field March 3 against Anderson at 2 p.m.

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