Guilford College Baseball Takes Weekend Set From Brevard With Sunday Split

Guilford College Baseball Takes Weekend Set From Brevard With Sunday Split
Eight-run fifth lifts Quakers to game one win

from Bryce Johnson, Director of Athletic Communications at Guilford College

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The first game was pretty, the second one, less so for the Guilford College baseball team as they one-upped their seven-run fifth inning yesterday with an eight-run output in the same frame to collect an 8-4 win in game one, before allowing the second contest to slip away late, falling 9-6 to Brevard College on Sunday afternoon at McBane Field.

With the split, the Quakers move to 4-6 on the regular season that is already a quarter of the way complete. The Tornados, on the other hand, maintain their .500 record at 6-6.

Jackson Marcellus (Chapel Hill, N.C.) was solid through 4.2 innings for GC, allowing four runs, all earned, on nine hits, fanning seven against no walks or hit batsmen. Jacob Thompson got the nod for BC, allowing four runs, three earned on six hits and a walk across 4.0-plus innings. However, neither starter factored into the decision. Instead, it was Reese Baker (Ashland, Va.) who got the final out of the fifth before the Quakers offensive explosion to get his first win of the season and improve to 1-0. For the second straight day, the Tornados had a reliever enter and not record an out and end up getting charged with the loss, today it was Kalen Milstead who faced five men, with four of them scoring, three of them earned, allowing one hit, one walk, and hitting two men, falling to 1-1.

Eight different Quakers scored and seven different players drove in a run in the early contest. Michael Sumner (Mooresville, N.C.), Nick Boles (Madison, N.C.), and Skylar Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) had two hits apiece with Boles and Sumner each recording a double while Dark had two of them. Luke Morton, Logan Clark, and Frankie Vasquez all had multiple hits for Brevard, with Vasquez driving in a pair of runs.

Jacob Ray (Burlington, N.C.) hurled 5.0 scoreless frames in the later half of the doubleheader and while he did walk five, he allowed just one hit against three strikeouts to keep the Tornados scoreless. Blake Altschuler got the start for the guests and he went the distance allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits and a walk. But like game one, neither starter factored into the decision. Craig Vacher (Creedmoor, N.C.) retired two of the three men he faced, but unfortunately the one who reached, did so via an error, and ultimately proved to be run that put Brevard up for good, so he was tagged with the loss to fall to 0-1. Ethan Coleman pitched a perfect seventh to earn the win and improve to 1-0.

Dark followed up his great game one with another terrific second contest at the plate, accounting for four of the team’s six tallies by scoring a run and driving in three more across a 2-of-4 game that included a triple. Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C.) also had multiple hits including an RBI double. Cale Oehler had two each for hits, runs scored, and RBIs in the second game while Vasquez went deep driving in three runs.

The first four innings came and went swiftly in the early contest. The Quakers could not cash in on two runners on with one man out in the first against Jacob Thompson and that, plus a leadoff double by Skylar Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) in the third would end up as their best scoring chances throughout the first half of the contest. The Tornados opened the scoring in the top of the second, as Kenny Pridmore ambushed a 1-0 pitch, sending it over the left field fence for his first longball of the season. The guests then tacked on another with two outs in the third when Logan Clark doubled and Cale Oehler brought him home with a single to make it 2-0.

Brevard doubled their advantage in the top of the fifth. Lucas Granata singled and Luke Morton bunted his way aboard to open the frame. Jackson Marcellus (Chapel Hill, N.C.) settled in, fanning Clark and getting Oehler to fly out to right, and it looked like he would get out of the jam as he got Frankie Vasquez to hit one on the screws, but directly at Jordan Burrough (Greensboro, N.C.) in left. However, Burrough misread the ball as it flew over his head allowing both runs to score. Reese Baker (Ashland, Va.) entered and escaped further damage, but the score was 4-0.

The Quakers finally figured out Thompson in the home half. Nick Boles (Madison, N.C.) got the party started, lacing a double into the left field corner. He took third on wild pitch and crossed the plate when Burrough redeemed himself, legging out a Baltimore chop style grounder to short. Dark followed by splitting the gap in right center, scoring Devin Tonkins (Greensboro, N.C.), who pinch ran for Burrough, all the way from first, slicing the deficit in half. Brevard turned to their bullpen and things came apart at the seams for them. Kalen Milstead entered and immediately nearly drilled Jaden Holder (Tampa, Fla.) with a pitch, then did so later in the at bat. Michael Sumner (Mooresville, N.C.) followed, dropping down a bunt with the intent of a sacrifice. Oehler scooped it up and tried to get the lead runner but he spiked the throw and Vasquez could not dig it out, everyone was safe, and Isaiah Hairston (High Point, N.C) was coming up. He walked, forcing in a run, then the same thing occurred as Aaron Williams (Mocksville, N.C.) got plunked to tie things up, then Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C.) drilled a single down the line in right, putting Guilford in the driver’s seat and bringing an unceremonious end to Milstead’s outing. Ethan George (Burlington, N.C.) introduced himself to the fresh wing, Alex Fahringer by being the ninth consecutive Quaker to reach safely by dumping a single over the second baseman’s glove. Finally, the first two outs were recorded, with the latter, a fielder’s choice ground out by Tonkins plating the inning’s seventh run. Guilford added one more with a first-and-third double steal in which Tonkins got himself picked off intentionally, but kept the Tornados distracted enough that Wade beat the play at the plate to finalize their monstrous inning that saw them turn a four-run deficit, into a four-run lead, 8-4.

GC dropped the DH, bringing Wade to the hill in the sixth, and while he allowed a single baserunner in each of the final two frame, he went unscathed in part thanks to a tremendous running grab in the left-centerfield gap by Tonkins, as the game concluded with an 8-4 win.

The nightcap was a quick one through the first six innings. GC kept the Tornados off the board in the second when they had runners on first and second and one out. Easton King reached on a fielder’s choice where the throw to first was thrown off the facing of the McBane Field press box. Isaiah Hairston (High Point, N.C.) tracked it down and fired home to cut the runner down and keep the game scoreless. Instead, it ended up being Guilford who opened the scoring in the home half. Nick Boles (Madison, N.C.) led off with a single, then came all the way home on a triple off the bat of Skylar Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.). Dark then trotted the final 90 feet on a knock by Josh Howard (Salem, Va.). The Quakers added another on an RBI double by Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C.) as they held a 3-0 lead early.

Brevard got one back in the top of the sixth against Adam Anderson (Gastonia, N.C.), Cale Oehler led off with a triple down the first base line. A few batters later he would cross the dish on a safety squeeze bunt to make the score 3-1.

Logan Phillips (Brown Summit, N.C.) entered in the seventh to try and lock it down but he could not do so. The first two Tornados reached on a single and a walk. Luke Morton followed, dropping down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw by Wade went down the line and eventually out of play. While originally Morton and both runners scored on the play, the umpires convened and decided to only award one extra bag from each runners starting point, and thus only one run. So, the Quakers had a chance to get out of it, especially after Phillips fanned the Tornados three and four-hole hitters, Logan Clark and Oehler. Unfortunately, a wild pitch brought in the tying run before the wheels fell off in the extra frame with the guests scoring six runs highlighted by a three-run shot by Frankie Vasquez.

Guilford got the tying run to the plate in the home half, but they could not complete the comeback, falling 9-6.

The Quakers have a quick turnaround as they host Greensboro College for a cross-town clash on Tuesday, first pitch is at 2 PM.