Beard's walkoff single guides Tornados past Railsplitters, 6-5
Haithcox records first win of the season in relief
Brevard, N.C. - Zak Beard drove in Steele Myers with a base hit in the left centerfield gap off the 1-2 offering from Steven Starbird to provide the Tornados with their first walkoff victory in the month of April as the Tornados defeated Lincoln Memorial, 6-5.
Christian Christopoulos was a perfect 4-for-4 in the game, while Randy O’Dell and Myers had three hits apiece as the Tornados improved to 13-23, 5-16 in the South Atlantic Conference on the season. Joseph Horsley led the Railsplitters offense (25-18, 13-9 SAC) with three hits, while Eric Kitts hit his 11th home run of the season in the game as LMU dropped the series opener to Brevard.
Lincoln Memorial opened the scoring in the contest, putting a run on the board in the top of the first. Juan Alvarez doubled to the left centerfield fence with one out. Cody Pack followed with an infield single which bounced around the infield before the BC second baseman threw the ball toward the LMU dugout, allowing Alvarez to score to put Lincoln Memorial on top 1-0.
The Railsplitters added three in the second as Kitts drove a one-out offering from BC starter Joseph Lepore into pine trees behind the right field line to add another run to the LMU score. Deaun Williams followed by drawing a walk, and a base hit by Nolan Woody put both runners in scoring position. Williams scored as Joseph Horsley reached on an error and Alvarez singles home Woody, but Champ Stuart threw out Horsley trying to score at home to end the inning.
Brevard recorded a crooked inning in the bottom half of the second as Kramer Clark led off the inning with a base hit. Myers advanced Clark to third with a single up the middle and Christopoulos brought Clark home with a bouncer down the third base line, putting the score at 4-1.
Brevard cut the lead in half in the fourth as the Tornados loaded the bases with one out against LMU starter Andy Fennell. Kameron Armacost brought in a run in the inning, taking a 3-2 pitch off the outside corner scoring Brett Brinson from third to put the score at 4-2. However, Fennell retired the next two BC batters to end the inning.
The Tornados took the lead for the first time in the contest in the bottom of the seventh. Myers drilled a double into the right centerfield gap, scoring Clark from second base to put Brevard back within one. Christopoulos tied the game up at 4 apiece on his fourth hit of the game, singling through the drawn-in infield to score Brinson. Myers came around to score later in the inning, crossing the plate on a passed ball to put BC up with two innings left to play.
Lincoln Memorial tied the game up in the top of the ninth. John Couch led off the inning against BC reliever Kevin Hamilton with a double down the right field line, advancing to third as the BC right fielder kicked the ball down the line. Dustin Haithcox (1-2) came in to pitch, retiring the first batter he faced, before Kitts singled up the middle, scoring Couch to put the score at 5 apiece. Kitts was thrown out by Stuart, trying to take second base and Haithcox closed out the inning by retiring Woody on strikes, sending the game into the bottom of the ninth.
Myers opened up the inning with a base hit up the middle against Starbird (4-3) and Christopoulos advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Beard worked the senior left-hander to a 1-2 count before driving a line drive into left centerfield, scoring Myers from second to give the Tornados the 6-5 victory.
Brevard and Lincoln Memorial close out the South Atlantic Conference weekend series tomorrow afternoon as the Tornados host the Railsplitters at Gil Coan Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is set to begin at noon.