Smith throws five-hitter as Tornados split with Tusculum
Brevard defeats Pioneers 3-0 in second game of the doubleheader
Greeneville, Tenn. - Brevard surrendered a late lead in the eighth inning of game one of the Saturday doubleheader to fall to Tusculum, 9-7, but Casey Smith threw a five-hitter in the second game to split the doubleheader and give the Tornados the 3-0 victory to end the season series.
The Tornados move to 12-22, 4-16 SAC, while Tusculum moves to 26-10, 14-7 in conference play.
Game One: Tusculum 9, Brevard 7
Randy O’Dell had three hits and Kramer Clark drove in three runs, but the Pioneers rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the eighth off BC reliever Dustin Haithcox (0-2) to come from behind to take the first game in Pioneer Park on Saturday.
Rolondo Bonner crossed the plate in the bottom of the first on Sean Cotten’s grounder to put the Pioneers on the board. Cody Coffman drove in Nate Reid on a one-out groundout as well to plate two runs in the inning off BC starter Jacob White.
The Tornados answered with a run in the second. Christian Christopoulos opened the inning with a base hit off Dylan Hochevar and stole second to get into scoring position. After Hochevar retired the next two batters, Clark singled up the middle scoring Christopoulos to cut the lead by half.
Cotten continued to swing a hot stick on the weekend, driving a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence to put Tusculum up 3-1 in the top of the fourth.
The teams traded runs in the sixth as Christopoulos hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Ron Patterson, while Reid answered in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot to left field to put the score at 4-2.
The Tornados took their first lead of the game in the top of the seventh, with Champ Stuart providing the offense in the inning. Clark opened up the inning reaching on a walk and was moved to second on Zak Beard’s grounder. Kameron Armacost was plunked by a pitch, giving way to Stuart, and the freshman reached as the left fielder dropped his fly ball. Stuart reached third on the play, with Clark and Armacost coming all the way around to score to tie the game up at four. Michael Franklin (4-2) came in relief of Hochevar, but uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Stuart from third to give Brevard the 5-4 lead.
Tusculum tied it back up in the seventh as Alexi Colon scored on a throwing error by the BC catcher.
Clark’s infield single drove in two runs in the eighth, scoring Steele Myers and Zack Merriken to give Brevard the 7-5 lead, but Tusculum took over in the bottom half of the inning, sending 10 batters to the plate as Colon drove in two with a base hit and Payden Houser and Lukas Graves both drove in runs to cap the scoring in the first game.
Game Two: Brevard 3, Tusculum 0
Beard went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Casey Smith (3-6) went the distance, scattering five hits while striking out five as the Tornados took the series finale from the Pioneers, 3-0.
The Tornados wasted no time getting on the board in the game, scoring in the top of the first. Patterson and Stuart reached on back-to-back singles to open the game, before O’Dell brought in Patterson with a grounder to put Brevard up 1-0.
Smith retired the first seven batters of the game for the Tornados before Branfy Arias broke up the perfect game with a base hit up the middle, but Arias was thrown up trying to steal and Graves grounded out to end the inning as Brevard held the 1-0 lead after three.
Beard drove in Myers in the top of the fourth and Clark drove in O’Dell in the fifth to increase the Tornados lead, and though Tusculum threatened with runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth, Smith was able to escape any damage and retired the Pioneers 1-2-3 in the seventh to end the game.
Brevard returns home to Gil Coan Field on Wednesday, April 6th, as they jump out of conference to take on King College. The Tornados defeated King earlier this season in Bristol, Tenn. on February 22nd, 13-11. First pitch of the nine-inning contest is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.