The Transylvania Times -

By Jeremiah Reed
Sports Editor 

Brevard Rallies To Beat Pisgah In Conference Battle


March 25, 2019

Jeremiah Reed

Sawyer Smith (left) and Tripp Harris celebrate after closing out Brevard's 7-6 win over Pisgah on Friday night. The Blue Devils scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to earn the win, with Harris delivering the game-tying, two-RBI double.

After an up-and-down week, the Brevard Blue Devils delivered a finish befitting of March Madness, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally for a 7-6 victory over the Pisgah Bears on Friday night.

Brevard held a 3-1 lead before Pisgah scored four runs in the top of the fifth, adding another run in the sixth and looking like they were going to hand the Blue Devils another frustrating loss.

But Tripp Harris came up big in the bottom of the sixth, slapping a double to left field that drove in two runs to tie things up at 6-6.

Harris scored moments later off an RBI single from Nick Bumgarner to give Brevard the lead, and Mitchell Johnson closed out the game in the top of the seventh.

The result bookended a crazy week for the Blue Devils. Brevard steamrolled Hendersonville 21-4 last Monday only to lose to North Buncombe 9-8 on Wednesday after the Blackhawks scored four runs in the top of the seventh.

The Bears nearly stole another one from Brevard, but the Blue Devils stood tall and came up with a clutch win.

"This week has been a rollercoaster," said Brevard head coach Chris Lambert after the victory. "We've preached for the last two days that we just need to relax and play the kind of ball we know we can play. If these guys believe in themselves and play their best, they're hard to beat; and they proved that tonight."

The Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second, as Talyn Clark drove in a run off a fielder's choice, setting up back-to-back RBI singles from Baxter Swicegood and Harris.

The Bears got one run back in the fourth before loading the bases with one out in the top of the fifth.

The Pisgah batter hit a rainbow fly ball that dropped in left field, scoring two runs to tie things up. The Bears followed that up with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to take a 5-3 lead.

A groundout from Drew Scott drove one run across the plate in the bottom of the frame, but Pisgah scored again in the sixth inning to retake their two-run lead.

That set up the thrilling finish.

Breylan Owens led off and sliced a pitch that fell just inside the foul line in right field as he legged out a double. Owens advanced to third on a ground out during the next at bat.

After Swicegood drew a walk, Harris stepped into the box and slapped a line drive deep into the left field corner, scoring Owens and Swicegood to tie things up.

Harris advanced to third on another groundout before scoring the go-ahead run off Bumgarner's single to right field.

Down to their last three outs, Pisgah started off the seventh with a leadoff single. However, Johnson retired the next three batters in order, giving Brevard a hard-fought win over their Mountain Six rivals.

Harris was the game's spark plug, driving in three runs and scoring once while going 2-for-3 at the plate.

Swicegood, Bumgarner, Clark and Scott all had one RBI each.

Johnson got the win in the relief appearance, giving up no runs and two hits over 1 2/3 innings.

Despite a no decision, Walker Case had a solid outing as the starter, throwing 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on six hits.

The win gives Brevard a 3-4 record overall and a 3-2 mark in conference play. The Blue Devils are currently third in the Mountain Six.

Lambert said Friday was big for his team, not just because they won, but because of how they won and what it can mean for Brevard moving forward.

"Tonight I saw growth in the areas we've been struggling, and that's fielding. We made a few mistakes tonight, but we weren't as tight. We were joking around in the dugout, even when we were down two runs. The guys have been tight this season because they know how good they are, but they really loosened up tonight. Walker and Mitchell had good outings for us on the mound and we've been fighting at the plate all year long. Everything came together for us tonight and they showed what they can be when that happens," Lambert said.

The Blue Devils are set to host East Henderson on Tuesday before traveling to face first-place Franklin on Friday.


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