Mountaineers get much needed winTHS’s Fender shuts out Blue Devils
The Tuscola varsity baseball team really needed a win Friday night when the Brevard Blue Devils rolled into town for a WNC Athletic Conference contest.
The Mountaineers had lost their last four games and were 1-5 overall and 0-1 in the WNCAC.
So, to end the skid, manager Caleb McConnell decided to give the ball to senior pitcher David Fender, who delivered an impressive four-hit, complete-game shutout as Tuscola defeated Brevard, 3-0.
The Mountaineers improved to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in the WNCAC, while the Blue Devils slipped to 3-3 and 0-1 in the conference.
Fender was a model of efficiency as he struck out eight Blue Devils and walked only two.
“It’s simply was the best outing of the year,” said McConnell. “He stayed down with all his pitches for seven innings and that is the result when you do that. He was tough to hit.”
After loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, Tuscola got all three runs off Brevard’s losing pitcher Tyler Queen without the aid of a hit.
First, Tuscola tried a safety squeeze to get its first run, but it was bunted back to the mound and the lead runner from third was retired at the plate. But the Blue Devils’ catcher attempted to complete the back-end of the double play at first, only to have his throw sail down the right field line, allowing two Mountaineers to score. Then Cameron Green followed with an RBI ground out.
Neil Peterson had two of Tuscola’s four hits for Tuscola, which plays at North Henderson for a 4 p.m. WNCAC game Tuesday afternoon. Then THS travels to play rival Pisgah at the Charles Thomas Wells Complex in Canton at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
The Tuscola varsity softball team sunk to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the WNCAC after losing to visiting Brevard, 18-0, in five innings Friday afternoon.
The Blue Devils got a complete-game, one-hitter from freshman Chelsea Gilbert, while the Mountaineers’ Laken Gentry was the losing pitcher.
Freshman Sam Young had Tuscola’s only hit off Gilbert.
The Mountaineers, which committed six errors, play at North Henderson Tuesday at rival Pisgah on Thursday (4 p.m.).