Brevard, N.C. - Brevard College battled back in the bottom of the ninth, sparked by a two-out, two run double by Christian Christopoulos, but backed by a seven-run sixth inning in which Tusculum sent 12 batters to the plate, the Pioneers completed the series sweep over the Tornados with a 9-7 victory at Gil Coan Field on Sunday afternoon.
Tyler Lequire (0-1) suffered his first loss on the season as Brevard fell to 15-19, 7-11 in South Atlantic Conference play. The right-handed freshman went five innings, but was outdueled by Tusculum’s Adam Sigmon (4-0) as the Pioneers (27-5, 16-2 SAC) kept pace with SAC leader Catawba in the sweep.
The Pioneers plated the first run of the game in the top of the first as Aaron Guinn reached on a one-out single and Cade Stallings drew a walk to give Tusculum runners on base early in the game. Alexi Colon moved Guinn over to third on a fly out and Cody Coffman followed with a single up the middle, scoring Guinn for the first run of the contest.
Brevard evened the score in the bottom of the fourth as Champ Stuart continued his hot streak at the plate over the past week, leading off the inning with a single to left field. The sophomore outfielder from Freeport, Bahamas stole second base for his third steal over the weekend series before scoring on Randy O’Dell’s single to right centerfield, crossing the plate to knot the game up at 1 apiece.
Tusculum broke the game open in the top of the sixth as the Pioneers opened the inning with five consecutive singles, chasing Lequire from the contest. A hits-batsman reloaded the bases for the Pioneers, and following a double play, Tripper Crisson drove in Carlos Santana and Matt Henriksen with a double to centerfield, clearing the bases and putting the Pioneers up 6-1. Crisson came around to score on a BC fielding error and Aaron Guinn doubled in Lukas Graves to end the scoring as the Pioneers built a seven run lead with just over three innings remaining in the game.
Brevard chipped away at the lead in the bottom half of the frame as Bennett Hixson singled in Stuart with two outs in the inning. Kameron Armacost followed with a two-run double to left field, scoring Hixson and Tarron Robinson to cut the lead in half at 8-4 heading into the seventh.
The Pioneers extended their lead by one more run in the top of the seventh as Heath Comerford singled in Coffman with a two-out grounder through the right side of the infield.
After Dustin Haithcox shut down the Pioneers in order in the top of the ninth, Brevard rallied against TC reliever Billy Sivyer. Armacost led off the inning getting plunked by a pitch and was moved over to second on a groundout. Chad Funkhouser advanced him to third with a base hit, before Cody Queen brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
Down to their final out, Stuart kept the rally alive with a single through the right side before Christopoulos cleared the bases with a double in the left centerfield gap. However, the BC rally stalled, falling short as John-Austin Shepard retired the final BC batter on strikes to record his fifth save of the season.
Brevard remains at home as the Tornados welcome King College to Gil Coan Field on Wednesday, March 28th, for a non-conference matchup. First pitch in the nine-inning contest between Brevard and King is set for 3 p.m.