Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director
Photo Credit: Thom Kennedy '21 Instagram - @thomkphoto
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – JJ Wilkes blasted a two-run homer along with five RBIs total to highlight the Brevard College Tornados (6-22, 1-18 USAS) in its doubleheader matchup against the Methodist Monarchs (23-6, 13-4 USAS), who are ranked 21st nationally in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top 25 poll.
The Tornados held a lead for five and a half innings over the Monarchs in game one before surrendering their lead in a 12-4 final. Methodist led the whole way in a tight, 6-2 decision in the second game of the Saturday afternoon doubleheader, which was rescheduled earlier in the week due to the threat of inclement weather.
Junior RHP Kross Robinson (0-6) earned the starting nod for the Tornados in the front end of the doubleheader. Robinson lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowing seven runs on four hits, with only three being earned. Robinson walked eight batters and struck out two Monarchs in his start.
Wilkes lifted the Tornados with a two-run homer in the fifth inning, BC's second long ball of the 2019 season. Wilkes wrapped up game one with an impressive 3-for-4 outing at the plate, tallying a run and three RBIs to go with his first career home run.
Following back-to-back scoreless innings by both sides, the Tornados broke through with a two-run third frame. Following a Wooten one-out single followed by Donny Carsillo drawing a walk, Jucker singled up the middle to bring Wooten to the plate. After the second out was recorded, Wilkes picked up his first RBI of the afternoon by singling to right-center field, scoring Carsillo.
Neither side mustered a run in the fourth inning before a big offensive inning in the fifth. With two outs and Carsillo on base after a double, Wilkes stepped in and drilled a two-run homer to left field, extending BC's advantage over nationally-ranked Methodist to 4-0.
The Monarchs' offense was sparked in the bottom of the fifth inning by an Alex Kachler two-RBI double. Methodist scored once more on an RBI groundout, trimming BC's lead to 4-3.
Methodist took advantage of a key BC throwing error in the bottom of the sixth inning to plate four more runs, taking a 7-4 lead over the Tornados.
The Monarchs plated two more in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI sacrifice-bunt and a double steal, growing their late lead to a 9-4 margin.
Methodist added three more insurance runs to cap off its 12-4 win in the bottom of the eighth frame with an RBI double and a two-run homer.
Sophomore RHP Ben Melton (1-4) got the start in the second game for the Tornados, lasting eight innings of eight-hit, six-run ball, with four runs being earned. Melton struck out three batters in the process.
Wilkes tallied two RBIs for BC in the top of the fourth inning with a two-RBI double, which were Brevard's only two runs of the contest.
All told, seven different Tornado hitters collected base hits in Brevard's seven-hit effort in game two.
The Monarchs used a three-run third inning to take the early advantage before Wilkes' two-RBI double drew the Tornados within one run, 3-2. Methodist struck back in the bottom half of the fourth with a sacrifice fly to grow its lead back up to a 4-2 margin.
The Monarchs tacked on all of the insurance that they would need in the fifth and sixth innings, swelling their lead to a 6-2 gap. Methodist used a leadoff triple coupled with a throwing error to plate a run in the fifth, followed by an RBI groundout in the sixth inning.
Methodist starting pitcher Tristen Luck (7-0) lasted seven innings of three-hit, two-run ball before handing the ball over to Thomas Dean, who shut the Tornados down for two innings.
BC and Methodist will face off tomorrow in the series-finale scheduled for 1 p.m. at Armstrong-Shelley Field in Fayetteville, N.C.
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