Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados swept their season opener doubleheader against Ohio Valley on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to open the 2009 season, winning game one 7-1, and taking game two from the Fighting Scots, 3-0, behind a one-hit shutout by Seth Laughter.
Game 1: Brevard 7, Ohio Valley 1
The Tornados opened game one with a bang in the first inning as Brice Warner hustled out a double on a grounder up the middle. The next batter, Matthew Pruitt battled Fighting Scots starter Luke Nolan to a 2-2 count, before slapping a double down the right field line, scoring Warner. After a wild pitch moved Pruitt to third, Stephen Mullis hit a grounder in between second and first that Scots second baseman Chaz Mohler made a diving stop for, throwing out Mullis at first, but allowing Pruitt to score. Nolan was able to escape the inning without any more damage, but the Tornados were up 2-0 after one.
Ohio Valley loaded the bases in the second as Mike Giannamore put a single up the middle, Ryan Barber walked, and Justin Wharton had a ball tip off Ryan Toney’s glove and fall for a single. However, Toney was able to recover, retiring Mohler on strikes to end the top of the 2nd inning.
The Tornados added another run in the bottom of the inning, going up 3-0, as Adam Arrowood grounded out to Matt Wharton, driving in Jason Merrill. However, catcher Jake Kight ended the inning throwing out Warner as he attempted to steal second.
Kight got Ohio Valley on the board in the top of the third as he hammered a 3-2 fastball over the bullpen in left field, but Toney limited the damage to just the one run, striking out John Ortiz and Giannamore to end the inning with the Tornados up 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Warner led off with a single past a diving Matt Wharton. A single by Pruitt moved Warner to third. Then, a pitch after he had showed a bunt, William Scholer deposited a fastball over the fence in left center driving in all three runs. Mullis follewed the home run with a double to left center. Nolan was able force Josh Miller to foul out to first base and strike out Merrill, but walked Kellen Moman on four straight pitches, prompting a pitching change by Fighting Scots head coach Bob Crawford, bringing in Zach Boraski with runners on first and second and two outs. The move paid off as Boraski retired Arrowood on a fly ball to center, but Scholer’s three-run blast had already done the damage, putting Brevard up 6-1 with two innings remaining in game one.
Toney, having retired 10 straight batters since giving up the home run in the third inning, walked Ortiz and Matt Wharton to start the top of the sixth, before giving way to reliever Tommy Yearty. After a balk advanced both runners into scoring position, Yearty retired Giannamore on a soft grounder to third, before getting Ben Meneley to line out to BC shortstop Spencer Linn, doubling up Wharton to end the inning without allowing a run.
Warner added another run for the Tornados in the bottom of the sixth as he reached on an error by Matt Wharton on a grounder up the middle. Warner used his speed to reach third on a perfect sacrifice bunt placed on the third baseline by Pruitt, before scoring on a wild pitch by Boraski, to give Brevard a 7-1 lead.
Ohio Valley loaded the bases in the top of the seventh behind singles by Justin Wharton and Kight, and a walk to Kellen Shepherd, but Yearty came back to force a lazy fly ball to center that Warner tracked down for the final out, sealing the 7-1 victory.
Game 2: Brevard 3. Ohio Valley 0
Brevard opened the scoring in the second game as Linn drove a ball into right field that Scots right fielder Ryan Barber made a great play on, catching the ball while laying on the ground after tangling his feet. The catch allowed Brevard’s Jackie Corn to walk in from third base, putting the Tornados up 1-0. However, Fighting Scots starter Kyle York got Arrowood to hit a chopper to the third baseman to end the inning with Merrill stranded on third.
The Tornados added two more runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Pruitt reached first after Ortiz muffed the throw from Matt Wharton. After the error, Scholer bounced a single through the left side of the infield putting runners on first and second. With a 1-0 count, Mullis pulled a line drive down the right field line and didn’t stop running until he pulled up at third with a bases-clearing triple. However, he was stranded as York was able to get Jackie Corn and Merrill to ground out to end the inning with the score 3-0 Brevard.
A pair of one-out singles by Corn and Merrill in the bottom of the sixth chased York, leaving way for Boraski. A four-pitch walk to Miller loaded the bases, but Boraski got Linn to bounce into a double play to end the inning with the score, 3-0.
Meanwhile, Tornados starting pitcher Seth Laughter threw a complete game, allowing two runners (one walk, one single) to reach while striking out two. Laughter retired the final fifteen batters, getting Matt Wharton to fly out to Warner in center field to end the game.
The Tornados conclude their season opening weekend tomorrow afternoon as they try to complete the sweep against the Fighting Scots. First pitch for the game on Gil Coan Field is set for 1 p.m.