NEWBERRY, S.C. � The Indians of Newberry College kept up their impressive play at Kirkland Field Monday afternoon, as they defeated #20 West Virginia State 7-5 in Division II baseball action. Newberry, winners of three straight, improve their record to 11-18.
With Monday�s win, Newberry has won three of their past four games against nationally ranked opponents.
Newberry got out of the gates quickly once again, as the Indians used a leadoff infield single from Jamall Kinard (Newberry, S.C.) and a double down the left field line from Anthony Dillenger (Gaffney, S.C.) to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After three-hole hitter T.J. McCord (Manning, S.C.) reached first base after being hit by a pitch from Yellow Jacket starter Andrew Davis (Cross Lanes, W. Va.), Malcolm McLeod (Chapin, S.C.) brought home both Dillenger and McCord with a double to right center, giving Newberry a 3-0 lead.
McLeod had one of his most impressive offensive performances of the season, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Dillenger kept up his hot hitting, also going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs.
Newberry pitcher Ty Rollins (Columbia, S.C.), making his first start of the season, held West Virginia State to only one run on five hits, while striking out two Yellow Jacket batters through six complete innings.
With the score 5-1 in the favor of Newberry, the Yellow Jackets mounted a comeback in the eighth inning. With runners on first and second with only one out, Yellow Jacket third baseman Willis Brandenburg (Middletown, Md.) doubled down the left field line, scoring both base runners and cutting the Newberry lead to 5-3.
Newberry would answer in the bottom of that inning, picking up two important insurance runs. After a walk was issued to Kinard to lead off the inning, Kinard stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch with no outs. All it took to get Kinard home from third was a McCord single up the middle. McLeod would pick up his final RBI of the game in the inning, giving Newberry a 7-3 lead heading into the ninth.
Indian reliever Josh Page (Columbia, S.C.) would only allow one hit and one unearned run in the West Virginia State half of the ninth to secure a 7-4 Newberry victory.
Rollins (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, while Page (1) was awarded with a save for his efforts over the final 1.1 innings. Yellow Jacket starter Davis was credited with the loss.
Newberry will play another game with West Virginia State on their southeastern road swing this Thursday, March 24th. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at historic Kirkland Field.