Due West, S.C. - The Brevard Tornado baseball squad hit the road for the first time in 2009 on Thursday afternoon and came home with a loss, 10-5, at the hands of the Erskine Flying Fleet at Grier Field.
Erskine's Chachere Freeman (Columbia, S.C.) pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out nine to pick up his first win of the season. Tornado starter Jacob White (Elkin, N.C.) allowed three runs in four innings and picked up the loss.
Bryan Fogle (Lexington, S.C.) was 2-4 with 4 RBI (giving him 30 in 12 games) to lead the Fleet. Stephen Mullis (Charlotte, N.C.) was 3-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored for Brevard.
The Tornados (5-2) got off to a good start, putting the game's first run on the board. Mullis led off the second inning with a home run off of Freeman (1-0) to put the visitors up, 1-0.
White (0-1) held the Fleet at bay in the first three and two-thirds innings, but Erskine teed off on the right-hander with two outs in the fourth frame. John Bolding (Pickens, S.C.) tied the game with an RBI single, then Shawn Glover (Columbia, S.C.) gave the home nine a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer.
Erskine (10-2) padded their lead with another crooked number in the fifth inning. With Bart Reese (Herndon, Va.) on the mound, the Fleet started the inning with a pair of base hits and then touched home again on a 2 RBI single from Fogle. The next batter, Chas Anthony (Pickens, S.C.), singled home Fogle to make the score 6-1, and Reese left without recording an out. Two batters later, with Jacob Koontz (Woodleaf, N.C.) pitching, Glover brought home Anthony on an RBI groundout and Cody McElhaney (Beech Island, S.C.) capped the five-run inning with an RBI double to give Erskine an 8-1 lead after five.
The Fleet tacked on another run in the sixth inning, off of Seth Laughter (Fletcher, N.C.). A sac fly from Fogle put the hosts up, 9-1.
Freeman left the game after seven strong innings of work, and the Tornados took advantage of the new pitcher, Alex Gilstrap (Easley, S.C.), in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded and no one out, Josh Miller (Hendersonville, N.C.) scored Matthew Pruitt (Hendersonville, N.C.) with a sac fly, and the next batter, Jason Merrill (Hendersonville, N.C.) tallied a sac fly of his own, scoring William Scholer (Norwalk, Iowa), to make the deficit 9-3.
Jackie Corn (Hendersonville, N.C.) followed Merrill and drew a walk, sending Gilstrap to the showers, and the next Erskine pitcher, Stephen McCormick (Anderson, S.C.) walked all three batters he faced; the free pass to Spencer Linn (Fletcher, N.C.) loaded the sacks, and walks to M.A. Dozier (Cumming, Ga.) and Brice Warner (Clover, S.C.) scored runs to make the game 9-5. But with the bases still juiced, Erick Guest (Easley, S.C.) struck out Pruitt to end the Tornado threat.
Erskine added an insurance run in their half of the eighth, with a run-scoring groundout from Fogle, his fourth RBI of the game. Guest kept Brevard off the board in the ninth inning to preserve the win.
Brevard begins South Atlantic Conference play with a doubleheader against Newberry Saturday at Gil Coan Field. First pitch is scheduled for noon. Erskine plays at Limestone Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the first of a three-game Conference Carolinas series.
*FULL STATS TO FOLLOW*
Score by Innings R H E
Brevard............ 010 000 040 - 5 8 1
Erskine............. 000 351 01X - 10 12 2
W - Freeman (1-0) L - White (0-1)
HR: EC - Glover (3) BC - Mullis (2)