Brevard, N.C. - Brett Brinson went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored and Casey Smith pitched seven strong innings for the Tornados, however Lenoir-Rhyne used a three-run rally with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to pull ahead in handing Brevard the 7-4 defeat.
Smith falls to 1-4 on the season as the Tornados (7-10, 1-6 SAC) drop the series opener to Lenoir-Rhyne (4-17, 2-5 SAC) at Bears Field.
The Bears struck first in the bottom of the second as Anthony Sully led off the inning with a base hit to left field. Colton Hensley following with a single to right, advancing Sully to third as Lenoir-Rhyne placed runners on the corners with zero outs. Smith kept Nick Verhein in the infield, getting a grounder to second and Derek Ham tried to throw out Sully at the plate, but the throw was wide as the Bears scored first. Hensley came around to score on Walton Shepherd’s two-out single to put the score at 2-0 after two.
The Tornados evened it back up in the third as Kameron Armacost led off the inning against Brandon Padgett, drawing a walk. After several pick-off attempts at first base, Padgett’s throw skipped past L-R first baseman Sully down the line toward the bullpen and Armacost took advantage of the error, advancing to second and was waved around to third by Coach Matt McCay. The relay from Sully to third base was overthrown and Armacost came around to score to cut the lead in half, 2-1. Ron Patterson followed with a base hit up the middle and Zack Merriken’s infield single moved Patterson over to third where he came around to score on Brett Brinson’s bloop single to right field, evening the score at 2.
The Bears went back up by two in the fifth as Mike Gasque led off the inning with a base hit. Dan Catalano sacrificed him over to second and Stephan Arcieri advanced him to third where he finally scored on Brian Dice’s infield single. Sully followed Dice with an RBI double down the right field line to put the Bears back up 4-2.
The Tornados continued to chip away at the lead as Brett Brinson doubled down the left field line to lead off the sixth. Randy O’Dell followed with a blast that hit the top of the centerfield fence driving in Brinson to cut the lead down to 4-3. Champ Stuart entered the game in the seventh and led off the inning with a double. After Patterson sacrificed him over to third, Stuart scored as Merriken was picked off and caught in a rundown, with the distraction allowing Stuart to tie the game up at 4 apiece.
Lenoir-Rhyne plated three in the seventh in a two out rally as Andrews singled home Sully. Andrews stole second base off BC relief pitcher Kevin Hamilton and Hansley and Andrews came around to score on Shepherd’s base hit to right center to give the Bears the commanding 7-4 lead with one inning to play.
Derek Ham led off the ninth with a double down the left field line off Ryan Jones (1-3). Steele Myers’ sacrifice fly to right, advancing Ham to third, but the sophomore was stranded there as Jones retired the final two BC batters to end the game.
The Tornados take on the Bears again tomorrow afternoon at Bears Field on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University. Due to weather concerns, the doubleheader has been moved up, with first pitch coming at 11 a.m.