Mars Hill, N.C. - Led by the bats of Chad Funkhouser and Kameron Armacost, and the starting pitching of Brennan Daniels and Casey Smith, the Tornados swept the host Mars Hill Lions in South Atlantic Conference play on Saturday afternoon, 7-5 and 4-1.
Brevard improves to 13-10, 7-5 in conference play on the season, while Mars Hill falls to 8-17 overall, 4-8 in the SAC.
Game One: Brevard 7, Mars Hill 5
Brennan Daniels (3-0) picked up the win over the Lions in the first game of the doubleheader, backed by a strong performance at the plate by Chad Funkhouser as the Tornados evened the series score against Mars Hill with the 7-5 victory.
Funkhouser went 3-for-4 in the contest with a home run and a pair of doubles, while Bennett Hixson closed out the game with three scoreless innings in recording his third save of the season for Brevard.
The Tornados jumped ahead early, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning off Zach Davies as Cody Queen singled in Champ Stuart to start the scoring. Funkhouser added a sacrifice fly, scoring Tarron Robinson in the frame, while Kramer Clark brought in Zach Merriken with an RBI single to give the Tornados the early advantage.
Mars Hill answered with a run in the first inning as Joey Belviso singled in Michael Bueker, and the Lions took the 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second inning, putting up a crooked frame as Matt Mayo doubled in Ben Hunt and Mayo and Bueker came across the plate to score in the frame to give the Lions the lead.
Brevard and Mars Hill traded runs in the third inning to keep the lead in Mars Hill’s possession as Funkhouser doubled in Merriken with one out in the inning, while Mayo answered with a single down the left field line, scoring Chris Peek to put the score at 5-4.
A two-out solo home run in the top of the fifth inning knotted the game up at 5 apiece as Funkhouser drilled a pitch over the fence onto the road up the hill in centerfield, tying the contest.
The Tornados pushed across the go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh inning as Kameron Armacost singled in Funkhouser with two-outs in the inning, and Armacost came around to score on a Mars Hill wild pitch from Thomas Timmerman (0-2) to give BC the 7-5 lead.
Hixson came into pitch for the final three innings for the Tornados, facing four batters over the minimum over the frames, striking out the final two batters in the contest to clinch the BC victory.
Game Two: Brevard 4, Mars Hill 1
Casey Smith (1-1) bounced back after allowing a run in the first inning to go six innings in the contest, allowing six hits, while Zach Huneycutt recorded his first collegiate save as the Tornados completed the sweep in winning their first road conference series since the program joined the SAC in 2008.
Kameron Armacost was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate in the second game, driving in two runs while scoring once himself as Brevard overcame a solo home run by Joey Belviso in bouncing back from yesterday’s 15-12 defeat to the Lions.
Belviso put the Lions up in the bottom of the first, driving a solo home run over the left centerfield fence, clearing the hill at Henderson Field to put Mars Hill up 1-0.
The Tornados answered in the top of the second, knotting the game up against Mars Hill starter Josh Dean (3-3). Christian Christopoulos reached on a two-out double down the right field line and Armacost followed with an infield single, scoring Christopoulos from second to tie the game up.
Brevard took the lead in the contest in the top of the fourth inning as Chad Funkhouser and Kramer Clark both moved into scoring position with one out on a wild pitch. A sacrifice bunt by Christopoulos scored Funkhouser, while Armacost beat out an infield single, allowing Clark to score from third base to put BC up 3-1. Champ Stuart followed two batters later with an RBI single to left field, plating Armacost to give Smith a commanding 4-1 lead at the midway point of the ball game.
Mars Hill threatened the Tornados lead in both the fourth and the fifth inning, loading the bases in the former before Smith retired Michael Bueker on strikes to end the threat, while getting Thomas Timmerman to pop-out in the fifth inning to keep the BC lead intact.
Huneycutt came in to close out the game in the bottom of the seventh, retiring the Lions in order to record the save as Brevard keeps its conference record above .500 four series into SAC play.
Brevard returns home to Gil Coan Field on Tuesday, March 13th as the Tornados host Indiana University of Pennsylvania for a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch between the Tornados and the Crimson Hawks is set for 1 p.m.