BREVARD, N.C. - Despite a furious ninth inning rally, the Brevard College Tornados (10-37) dropped their season finale to the Emmanuel College Lions (18-28) by the final of 9-7 at Gil Coan Field on Wednesday.
Senior Teke Scudder (Cornell, Ill.) started on the mound for the Tornados, making his final collegiate appearance. The Cornel, Ill. native threw five strong innings of baseball, while allowing two runs and giving up just three hits. Scudder finishes the year with a team-high 73 ? innings pitched with a 3-8 record.
The six seniors at the plate for the Tornados powered the 16 hit offense. Blaine Durham (Westfield, N.C.) paved the way with three hits and three RBIs on a home run to right field while Josh Hall (Asheville, N.C.) tallied three hits and an RBI on the afternoon. Seniors Kyle Morrison (Greensboro, N.C.) and Brayden Morris (Pulaski, Va.) finished with two hits on the afternoon along with fellow seniors Schuyler Martire (Pine Brush, N.Y.). Martire finishes the season with a team-high .342 average at the plate. Senior Parker Hubbard (Salisbury, N.C.) tallied a hit in his final collegiate game.
The Tornados compiled a stunning comeback in the ninth inning, falling just short as they brought home three runs and loaded up the bases.
Martire led off the bottom half of the ninth with a single to left center before Hall hit a laser to the left field fence that was just shy of his first home run of the season. Instead, Hall tallied his ninth double of the season and sent Martire to third.
In the following at-bat, Durham ended his collegiate career in the best way possible. The Westfield, N.C. native cranked the inside pitch over the right field fence for his team-high sixth home run of the season to cut the deficit to 9-7.
With a duo of seniors coming to the plate, these next two at-bats could potentially be the last of their career. Morris drilled a fastball up the middle, skidding off the pitcher's glove and into center field.
With Morris on first and a lefty vs lefty matchup, Morrison came through for the Tornados, sending the outside pitch the opposite way into left field for a single.
Senior Parker Hubbard produced a successful at-bat on a ground ball to second base that allowed both runners to move into scoring position.
Following a walk to pinch hitter Joe Nelms (Malabar, Fla.), a 4-6-3 double play ended the rally for the Tornados.
The Lions were roaring from the start as they tacked on a lone run in the first to take the early lead.
Responding quickly, Martire crossed home on a groundout from Morris that knotted the game at one.
Following three shutdown innings from Scudder, the Tornados gave the senior the lead on the mound with an RBI single from Brandon Loran (Kissimmee, Fla.) in the fourth inning.
Emmanuel tied the score at two apiece in the fifth before tacking on four runs in the sixth to take the lead.
The Tornados temporarily took the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth as Hall ripped a single to left center for the RBI.
In the top of the eighth, the Lions took advantage of a Brevard error and one hit to bring home three runs and increase their lead to 9-3.
The Tornados responded in the bottom half of the inning, with an RBI single from Morrison to cut into the Emmanuel lead.
Brevard silenced the Lions in the ninth before producing the furious rally that fell short.
As eight Tornados finish their collegiate careers today, we'd like to thank them for all they've done for Brevard College in their time here and we wish them the best in the future.
The Tornados wrap up their 2017 campaign as they played their final game at the Division II level and as members of the South Atlantic Conference. Brevard College will transition to Division III in the fall and the Tornados baseball team will compete in the USA South Conference.