Harrogate, Tenn. - Champ Stuart doubled in the go-ahead run and Cody Queen added a two-run double in the top of the ninth as Brevard overcame a run-scoring error given to LMU in the bottom of the eighth to win the first game in the weekend series between the Tornados and the Railsplitters.
Kevin Hamilton (2-1) picked up his second win of the season, throwing 1.2 shutout innings of relief as Brevard improved to 16-20, 8-11 in the South Atlantic Conference. Andy Fennell fell to 0-7 on the season as Lincoln Memorial dropped to 17-22, 8-11 in conference play.
Brevard starting pitcher Zach Joyce and LMU pitcher Brandon Cowan opened the game after a two and a half hour rain delay by matching each other with three scoreless innings, before LMU snapped a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth frame.
Curt Fuqua drove a 3-1 pitch from Joyce over the left field fence at Hennon Field for the first run of the contest, putting Lincoln Memorial up with two outs in the inning for the early lead.
Brevard struck back in the top of the sixth, snapping Cowan’s shutout bid in the process with a home run of their own as Tarron Robinson followed Chad Funkhouser’s one-out single with a blast over the right field fence to put Brevard up 2-1. Robinson’s home run was the senior first baseman’s fifth home run of the season, tying teammate Zach Merriken for the individual team lead.
Joyce, meanwhile, continued to hold the Lincoln Memorial bats at bay, retiring the first two LMU batters in the bottom of the seventh on strikes in recording the 1-2-3 inning.
Lincoln Memorial finally chased the Brevard freshman from the mound in the bottom of the eight as Joseph Horsley was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second, before Fuqua drew a walk, giving the Railsplitters two on with one out in the frame. Kevin Hamilton came in to relief, retiring Andre Rodriguez on strikes for the second out in the inning, but Horsely and Fuqua pulled off the double steal on the full-count pitch. The throw from the BC catcher down to third went into left field allowing Horsely to score to even the contest at 2 apiece heading into the final frame.
Brevard wasted zero time going back ahead in the top of the ninth as Kramer Clark led off the frame with a single and Stuart followed with a double in the left centerfield gap, scoring Clark from first for the go-ahead score. A fielder’s choice advanced Stuart to third with one out as Funkhouser beat out the double play to put runners on the corners.
An intentional walk issued to Robinson loaded the bases and Queen delivered for Brevard with a double down the left field line, scoring Funkhouser and Stuart to put the Tornados up 5-2. A walk issued to Christopoulos loaded the bases again, and Randy O’Dell brought in the final run of the game as Brevard went into the final inning needing three outs for the win.
John Saylor gave the Railsplitters a runner in the bottom of the ninth, reaching on a one-out single up the middle, but Hamilton retired the final two LMU batters on strikes to close out the BC conference win.
The Tornados and the Railsplitters continue their South Atlantic Conference weekend series tomorrow afternoon at Hennon Field, with first pitch in the doubleheader set for 1 p.m.