Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director
Photo Credit: Thom Kennedy '21 Instagram @thomkphoto
MARION, N.C. - The Brevard College Tornados Baseball team (7-23, 2-19 USAS) staved off a ninth-inning rally to claim a series-opening USA South Conference victory over the Covenant Scots (12-19, 5-13 USAS), 5-4, at Big League Camp in Marion, N.C.
Junior pitcher Kross Robinson (1-6) earned his first win of the 2019 season in emphatic fashion, striking out 10 Covenant batters over the course of his six and two-thirds innings of work. Robinson allowed just two hits and one run in the game, with the run being unearned.
After the Scots drew within just a run heading into the ninth inning, freshman pitcher and two-time USA South Baseball Rookie Pitcher of the Week Matthew Scavotto came in and closed the door on Covenant's late rally. Despite letting two Covenant baserunners reach with a leadoff walk and single, Scavotto remained composed, striking out the next two batters he faced before forcing a game-clinching groundout to third base.
BC enjoyed a solid night offensively, as both Christian Ezzell and Ryan Roon had multi-hit games. Ezzell went 2-for-4 in the DH spot, scoring two runs and tallying two RBIs on a double. Roon posted a 2-for-5 night, scoring once as well.
Both sides left their fair share of runners on base. The Tornados left a total of 11 runners on, while the Scots stranded 10 baserunners.
Covenant drew two walks in the top of the first to put together a scoring threat, but Robinson and the Tornado defense got out of it, forcing a fly out to center fielder Donny Carsillo. BC followed suit in the bottom of the inning, putting together a two-out rally to load the bases. However, Covenant's Andrew Cline forces a strikeout swinging to end the threat.
Both sides went down quietly offensively in the second and third innings before breaking through in the fourth. Covenant used a leadoff double, a walk, and a sacrifice bunt to place runners on second and third with one out. The game's first run came by way of a passed ball, giving the Scots a 1-0 lead.
The Tornados similarity placed runners on second and third base in the bottom half of the inning. Kelley plated Brevard's first run with an RBI groundout, followed by a Brae Wooten RBI single to give BC the advantage, 2-1.
BC used Ezzell's two-RBI double and a Kelley RBI single to score three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, extending its lead to 5-1.
Covenant drew two walks in the top of the seventh to chase Robinson, but reliever Kyle Williams forced a fly out to end the scoring opportunity.
The Scots' offense caught fire in the top of the eighth, using two hits, two walks, and a wild pitch to score three runs, closing the margin to 5-4.
BC had a great opportunity to add insurance to their lead in the home half of the inning, loading the bases with nobody out. However, three-straight outs thwarted the threat.
The Scots drew a leadoff walk on Scavotto in the top of the ninth inning, followed by a single. Both baserunners advanced on a fielding mistake on the single, placing runners on second and third with nobody out.
Scavotto, a freshman from Charlotte, N.C., answered back emphatically, striking out the next two Covenant batters. The game's last batter came down to a 3-2 count, where Scavotto forced him to ground out to third, clinching the victory for the Tornados.
Brevard and Covenant will have Sunday off before resuming their three-game conference series. The Tornados and Scots will match up at Gil Coan Field on the campus of Brevard College on Monday, April 15, with a doubleheader scheduled for 12 and 3 p.m. BC will hold its Senior Day ceremony before the first game, where senior RHP Michael Merryman will be honored.
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