MARS HILL, N.C.- The Brevard College Tornados loaded the bases in the 8th and 9th innings but couldn’t push the tying run across in a 5-4 loss to the Mars Hill Lions in the opener of a three-game South Atlantic Conference series at Henderson Field.
The Tornados made it a one-run game in the 9th when Kody Spencer walked with the bases loaded to force in a run with two outs. Mars Hill lefty Bailey Christie (S, 1) then got Hunter Donaldson to pop out to end the game with the tying run on third.
BC starter Kevin Hamilton (L, 0-2) limited Mars Hill to one run through the first five innings before the Lions tagged the righty for four runs in the bottom of the 6th.
Tommy Scala started the inning with a solo homer before the Lions put together three straight one-out singles. Hamilton fanned Dustin Jones for the second out before a two-run single from Jacob Rand and a wild pitch made it 5-3 in favor of Mars Hill.
The Tornados struck first on Spencer’s RBI double in the 2nd and added another run in the 4th when Spencer scored on Donaldson’s double to right. Bennett Hixson put BC in front 3-1 with an RBI single in the 6th.
Nick Villalobos (W, 4-1) held BC to two runs in four innings in relief of Mars Hill starter Patrick Riehl, who was pulled after three innings.
The Tornados will complete the series on Saturday afternoon at Henderson Field with a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.