Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director
CARY, N.C. – The Brevard College Tornados Baseball team (1-0) used nine runs in the first three innings, coupled with a strong first start of 2019 by RHP Bryce Foster (1-0, 3.60 ERA) to propel itself to a commanding 12-5 victory over William Peace University (0-1) on Friday evening at the USA National Baseball Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Foster, a junior hometown product from Brevard High School, was in control throughout his five innings pitched. In five innings of action, Foster surrendered just two earned runs on four hits, striking out an impressive six batters while walking three late in his outing.
Foster, who made appearances in 2018 mainly as a relief pitcher, earned his first career victory in just his second career start for the Brevard College Baseball program.
The Brevard, N.C. native had a knack for escaping jams during his five innings of work. After WPU plated an RBI single in the first to tie things up, a Tyler Tilson double put runners on second and third for the Pacers. Foster came up with a big strikeout to escape the inning with limited damage, sending the game to the second inning tied at 1-1.
A passed ball in the fourth inning that scored the Pacers' second run of the game left runners on second and third base. Foster again forced a clutch out, as WPU's Gavin Wheeler flew out to left field, ending the William Peace threat.
Freshman RHP's Kyle Williams and Alex Winchester relieved Foster after his five innings of work. Williams began his BC Tornados career with three shutout innings before surrendering three late runs to the Pacers. Winchester ended WPU's late run in the ninth inning, retiring both batters that he faced to seal BC's 12-5 victory.
The 2019 edition of BC Tornados Baseball accomplished something only done once last season, as Brevard tallied double-digit runs for the first time since a March 21, 2018, 10-9 victory against Montreat.
Led by BC's 2018 offensive leader Ryan Roon, the Tornados' offense enjoyed a fantastic outing. Brevard's offense proved very opportunistic, playing small ball and taking advantage of the Pacers' defensive miscues.
Roon went 3-for-6 on the evening, tallying three hits, three RBI's and one run scored for a well-balanced opening game.
Donny Carsillo, a junior outfielder from Waxhaw, N.C., kicked off the Tornados' season as he reached on a WPU error in the top of the first inning. Carsillo eventually scored as Jonte Wilkes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Brevard's first run of 2019. Carsillo finished Friday's game by going 3-for-4 with three runs on two hits and three RBI's.
BC third baseman Holden Lanier recorded the only extra-base hit for the Tornados in the contest, as a ringing two-RBI double pushed Brevard's lead to 5-1 in the second inning.
The Tornados showed great patience at the plate, only striking out one time all game compared to WPU's nine strikeouts in the contest. Carsillo, Beau Shealy, Jason Jucker, and Matthew Kelley showed evidence to BC's success playing small ball, as each recorded successful sacrifice attempts.
Roon was the only baserunner to reach safely on a stolen base attempt on Friday evening, as WPU's Nathan Holt was caught by Foster trying to swipe second base.
The hot Tornado offense chased WPU starter Derek Johnson (0-1) after just two innings of work. Johnson gave up seven runs, although only two of them were earned due to shaky Pacer defense early on.
Brevard's defense, in stark contrast to Willliam Peace's, enjoyed an error-less performance, while the Pacers committed four costly errors, three of which coming in the first three innings.
Third-year Head Coach Sean Walsh and the Brevard College Tornados continue their four-game season-opening series against William Peace on Saturday with BC's first doubleheader of the season. The first game is set to begin at 12 p.m., with game two following shortly after, scheduled for 3 p.m.
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