Battling Bishops use Big Eighth Inning to Claim Game One

Battling Bishops use Big Eighth Inning to Claim Game One

Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director

MARION, N.C. – The Brevard College Baseball team (3-7, 0-3 USAS) cut a five-run deficit to just one at 6-5 in the seventh inning, however, the Battling Bishops of N.C. Wesleyan (5-3, 1-2 USAS) stormed back with a 10-run eighth inning to take a 16-5 victory in the first game of a weekend series at Big League Camp in Marion, N.C.

Ben Melton came on in the second inning in relief of starting pitcher Michael Merryman (0-1, 4.70 ERA), working 5.1 innings of three-hit, one run ball, striking out one Battling Bishop.

Sophomore first baseman JJ Wilkes paces Brevard's offense on Friday evening, going 3-for-5, which included two doubles and two runs scored. 

Holden Lanier collected two RBI's to push his season total to seven, while Johnny Flynn, Zach Wolfe, and Matthew Kelley each tallied key RBI's to spark Brevard's seventh-inning rally. 

The Battling Bishops used a strong start by Brynner Porter (2-0, 3.86 ERA), alongside plenty of offensive firepower to push towards victory. N.C. Wesleyan's top of the batting order tormented the Tornados, as the Battling Bishops' first three batters racked up eight hits, seven runs, and eight RBI's. 

N.C. Wesleyan jumped on Merryman early, posting five runs through the first two innings. Brevard was able to counter with a run of its own in the bottom of the first when Lanier reached on a fielders choice that scored Carsillo, as the score stood at 5-1 through two innings. 

The Battling Bishops tacked on a run on Melton in the fourth after Nate Gardner grounded into a double play, scoring one. NCWC held a 6-1 advantage through four frames. 

The Tornados used back-to-back two-run innings in the sixth and seventh to cut the Battling Bishops' lead to just one run at 6-5. 

In the sixth inning, Wolfe drilled a single to right center field, plating Wilkes. Kelley singles home Wolfe on the very next at-bat to cut NCWC's to 6-3.

In the seventh inning, after Ryan Roon walked to lead off the frame, Wilkes roped a double to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Lanier brought Roon home by grounding out, followed by a Flynn sac fly to trim the Battling Bishops' advantage to 6-5. 

Brevard's late-game rally was stunted when N.C. Wesleyan exploded for 10 runs, including a bases-clearing triple and a two-run round-tripper in the eighth inning. 

The Battling Bishops were able to maintain their advantage from there, cruising to the 16-5 victory. 

With two outs in the ninth, sophomore Josh Van Liew collected his first collegiate hit by beating out an infield single. 

The Tornados and Battling Bishops close out their series tomorrow at Big League Camp in Marion, N.C., with action set to take place at 12 & 3 p.m. 

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