Thursday, April 19, 2012


Tornados fall in first playoff game to Bulldogs, 12-4

Rock Hill, S.C. - Casey Allison and Thomas Spitz powered four-seed Wingate University past three-seed Brevard on Thursday evening in the final game of the first day of the 2012 Food Lion SAC Baseball Tournament with the 12-4 victory.

Allison drilled a two-run home run over the left field fence at McNair Field in the eighth inning and Spitz added four RBIs as the duo paced a 17-hit Bulldogs offensive attack on the evening to back Wingate starter Ben Currie in the victory.

Wingate struck first in the top of the third off BC starter Zach Joyce, plating the first run of the contest in the frame. Dodson McPherson sent Jacob Karr into scoring position with two outs in the inning with a bouncing single through the right side of the infield and Brian Yeung followed with a single to left centerfield. The base hit scored Karr, but Yeung was thrown out trying to extend the hit into a double to end the inning with the threat neutralized.

Champ Stuart answered for Brevard in the bottom half of the frame and evening the score with a shot off the fence in left field to knot the game up at one. Kramer Clark drew a two-out walk from Wingate’s Ben Currie and Stuart followed, jumping on the first pitch and driving it off the 25 foot tall fence in left field. Clark came around to score in the inning, but Stuart was caught in a rundown between second and third and tagged out to end the inning.

Wingate chased Joyce from the game in the fourth inning, plating three runs to advance the Bulldogs’ cause. Chris Vazquez singled home Casey Allison for the first run in the inning, bringing in the runner on a bunt through the BC infield, while Thomas Spitz doubled down the left field line, scoring Josh Clark. A passed ball brought in the final Wingate run in the inning, allowing Godinez to score from third to push the lead to 4-1.

The Bulldogs added two more runs to their total in the sixth as Allison singled in Spitz with two outs in the inning, while Clark doubled home McPherson with a line drive down the left field line to advance the lead to 6-1 before Casey Smith retired the side on a groundout to end the inning.

Brevard battled back in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of a pair of Wingate errors to cut the lead down to 6-4. Chad Funkhouser led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, advancing into scoring position on Tarron Robinson’s double down the right field line. The first run of the inning scored as Cody Queen reached on an error, and O’Dell followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Robinson. The final run in the frame scored on a botched fielding attempt on a fly ball in short centerfield, allowing Queen to score from first base to cut the lead down to two with two innings to play.

Allison quickly silenced the mostly pro-BC crowd in the top of the eighth, following a sacrifice bunt by Yeung with a two-run blast over the towering fence in left field to score McPherson. Spitz followed later in the inning with a bases-clearing triple, scoring Godinez, Vazquez and Jason Hunter as the Bulldogs began to pull away from the Tornados late in the game.

Wingate added a final run in the top of the ninth as McPherson scored on a fielder’s choice, and the Bulldogs retired the Tornados in the bottom half of the inning to end the contest.

Currie went seven strong innings for Wingate, earning the victory after scattering four hits and striking out four. Joyce earned the loss for Brevard, allowing eight hits and four runs (three earned) in 3.2 innings, while striking out two.

Wingate advances to take on no. 5 Carson-Newman in the nightcap tomorrow evening at McNair Field, while Brevard takes on top-seed Tusculum College in the 3:45 p.m. game.