Mars Hill, N.C. - Eric Renegar led Brevard with four hits, including a two-run home run in the top of the second inning as the Tornados raced out to an 11-1 lead, but thanks to a nine run frame in the bottom of the second, Mars Hill was able to battle back to take the opener in the weekend series at Henderson Field, defeating Brevard 15-12.
Kevin Hamilton (0-1) suffered the loss for Brevard (11-10, 5-5 SAC) as the Tornados drop their weekend series opener for just the second time this season, while Mars Hill (8-15, 4-6) took the win behind 6.2 innings of solid relief work by Tony Hearrell (1-0).
Brevard struck in the top of the first as Randy O’Dell brought in three runs on a single to right field as the Tornados took advantage of two Mars Hill miscues in plating four runs in the frame. Kramer Clark added an RBI single to put the score at 4-0, but Mars Hill answered with a run in the bottom of the first as Coty Pate doubled in Michael Bueker to put the Lions on the board.
The teams combined for 16 runs in the second inning as Brevard put seven across the plate in the top of the frame to put the score at 11-1, before the Lions came roaring back with nine players coming around to score in the inning to put the score at 11-10. Altogether, 25 batters stepped into the box and the inning saw several pitching changes.
Renegar opened the frame with a two-run home run and added an RBI single, while O’Dell drilled a two RBI double to left field, scoring Champ Stuart and Zach Merriken in the frame to provide the majority of the damage in the inning for Brevard. Tommy Scala and Bueker both had multiple RBIs in the inning as the Lions sent 14 batters to the plate in cutting a 10 run deficit down to one.
Mars Hill knotted the contest up at 11 in the bottom of the third inning as Chris Peek singled in Jake Wooten, and the Lions continued their run to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth as Scala drove in a run on a base hit up the middle and Jacob Rand drew a walk, scoring Ben Hunt to put the Lions up 13-11 after five innings. Chris Peek and Shawn Weber added RBIs in the bottom of the sixth to push the advantage to four at 15-11 with three innings to play.
The Tornados threatened to send the game into extra innings in the final frame as Brevard loaded the bases with zero outs as the first four batters in the inning reached base. Bennett Hixson opened the inning by drawing a walk and Renegar advanced him to second with his fourth hit of the afternoon, this one a single to left field giving BC runners on first and second. Cody Queen was plunked by a pitch to load the bases, before Tarron Robinson drew a bases loaded walk, scoring Hixson to put the lead at 15-12 with zero outs. However, Hearrall retired the next two Brevard batters on strikes, before getting the final BC batter to hit into a groundout to end the game in favor of the home team.
Brevard returns to the diamond tomorrow afternoon in Mars Hill, N.C. as the Tornados take on the Lions in a doubleheader to wrap up their South Atlantic Conference weekend. First pitch between Brevard and Mars Hill is set for 12 p.m.