Merriken goes deep in Tornados loss to Wolves, 7-6
Brevard falls in extra innings in series opener to Newberry
Brevard, N.C. - Zack Merriken hit a solo home run and Kramer Clark drove in a pair of runs in a five-run third inning, but the visiting Wolves battled back to force extra innings and a base hit by Andy Vogel drove in the winning run as the Tornados fell to Newberry, 6-5.
Kevin Hamilton (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season as Brevard falls to 5-7, 0-4 SAC on the year, while Matt Mege (2-1) picked up his second victory as the Wolves improved to 9-6, 4-0 SAC.
Brevard took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a solo homerun by Zach Merriken hit a line drive down the left field line, barely clearing the fence near the Tornados bullpen.
The Wolves appeared on the scoreboard for the first time in the third inning as Vogel and Evan Darr hit back-to-back RBI doubles with two outs and Chris Love added a run scoring single to give Newberry the 3-1 advantage
Brevard regained the lead in the bottom of the third with five runs. An RBI single by Randy O'Dell was followed by a two-run double by Kramer Clark, an RBI double from Ethan Pressley and an RBI single by Derek Ham gave the Tornados a 6-3 lead.
The Wolves continued to strike, cutting into the lead as Darr and Love drove in a run apiece in the top of the fifth before Kevin Rufus hit an RBI single in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 6-all.
Both sides had chances to take the lead in regulation but neither team could plate the go-ahead run as BC’s Steele Myers was stranded on third in the eighth and Hamilton came in relief for Brevard and retired the Wolves with the bases loaded in the ninth as the teams went into extra innings.
In the 10th inning, Chas Goodwin reached on a base hit up the middle. The ball was misplayed by the BC centerfielder, allowing Goodwin to move up to second base with one out. After advancing to third, Goodwin scored the game winning run as Vogel hit a soft line drive which landed between the second baseman and right fielder.
Kameron Armacost led off the bottom half of the inning with a single to left field, but Tyler Sturkie came in for the Wolves and retired the next three Tornados batters to end the game.
Zack Simpson earned a no decision in the start, pitching 5.2 innings, striking out three, and Casey Burnette threw three innings of scoreless relief for the Tornados, who fall in their fourth conference game of the season.
Brevard and Newberry conclude the weekend series tomorrow afternoon at Gil Coan Field, with first pitch of the doubleheader coming at 12 p.m.