Brevard, N.C. – The Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne University won both games of a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader over Brevard College, 9-7 and 6-4, Saturday at Gil Coan Field. LRU closer Max Loveland (Bradenton, Fla.) saved both games for the visitors.
The Tornados fall to 7-17 (1-9 SAC) with the losses, while the Bears improve to 19-6 and stay perfect in the SAC with a 5-0 record.
Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Brevard 7
Chris Tucker (Hawthorne, N.Y.) scored three times for the Bears, while Michael Pleau (Vero Beach, Fla.) tallied three RBIs. All ten Tornado position players had a hit, including Stephen Mullis (Charlotte, N.C.), who had two base knocks and two RBIs.
Blake Edmonson (3-0; Newton, N.C.) pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief to pick up the win, while Tornado starter Seth Laughter (1-3; Fletcher, N.C.) was the losing pitcher after allowing eight runs (five earned) in 6 2/3 innings. Loveland allowed just one hit in the ninth to slam the door on a comeback.
The Bears got on the board first, as a single from Alex Cooks (Tampa, Fla.) brought a run home in the top of the 1st inning. But Mullis brought Brevard back in the bottom half, with a two-run home run over the right field fence off of LRU starter Chris Henderson (Linconton, N.C.).
The Bears retook the lead in the 2nd with a pair of runs. Pleau had an RBI single, while Tucker scored on a wild pitch to make the score 3-2. The Tornados tied the game, however, in the 4th, when Josh Miller (Hendersonville, N.C.) singled home Jackie Corn (Hendersonville, N.C.).
Both teams scored three times in the 6th inning. After a one-out single, Loveland stole two bases and scored on Tornado catcher Jason Merrill’s (Hendersonville, N.C.) throwing error to give the Bears and a lead. The other two runs scored on a double from Pleau to make the score 6-3.
The resilient Tornados tied the game in the bottom half. Kellen Moman (Greenville, S.C.) and Brice Warner (Clover, S.C.) notched RBI hits, and Adam Arrowood scored on a two-out error by 2nd baseman Hank Wofford (Clover, S.C.) to make the tally even at 6.
Lenoir-Rhyne scored twice in the 7th. Loveland and Zach Glass (Salisbury, N.C.) each had an RBI single, making the score 8-6. The Bears tacked on another run in the 8th off of Tornado reliever Jacob White (Elkin, N.C.) on a sac fly from Wofford.
Brevard got their final run in the bottom of the 8th, when M.A. Dozier (Cumming, Ga.) homered off of Edmonson, hit first blast of the season. But Loveland closed the door in the ninth to prevent a comeback.
Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Brevard 4 (7 inn.)
Will Moseley (3-0; Shreveport, La.) was the winning pitcher for the Bears, allowing four runs and 11hits in five innings, while Shane Galloway (2-3; Rosman, N.C.) took the loss after giving up six runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings. Glass had 2 RBIs for the Bears, while William Scholer (Norwalk, Iowa) drove home two for Brevard.
Lenoir-Rhyne put the first runs on the board in the 2nd. Glass tallied an RBI groundout and Brian Dice (Hickory, N.C.) a sac fly to make the score 2-0.
Brevard came back with a run in the bottom half, when a fielder’s choice from Scholer brought Merrill to the plate, cutting the lead in half.
The big inning for the road nine was the 3rd. Rob Knight singled a run home and later scored on a Brevard fielding error, while the always-pesky Loveland, who reached on the error, scored on a passed ball after swiping two more bags.
The Tornados also did serious damage in the 3rd. A five-hit inning, highlighted by RBI singles from Corn, and Scholer and a sac fly from Miller made the score 5-4.
The final run came for the Bears in the 6th, when Dice came through with a single to bring Glass to the plate. The Bears loaded the bases in the inning with two out, but Luke Smithson (Mills River, N.C.) came on in relief to shut the door and pitch a scoreless 7th. Unfortunately for the Tornados, however, the relief combination of Tony Garcia (Valrico, Fla.) and Loveland kept the home team at bay to preserve Lenoir-Rhyne’s win.
In addition to his two saves on the mound, Loveland was 4-8 at the plate with four runs, an RBI, and six stolen bases.
The Tornados and Bears conclude their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m.