NEWBERRY, S.C. - With inclement weather rapidly approaching the Smith Road Complex on Friday, it appeared rain might end the game between the Newberry College Indians and Lenoir-Rhyne College Bears. However, it was a late deluge of Bears runs that gave the guests a 5-3 win in the opening game of the three-game South Atlantic Conference series.
Newberry falls to 15-23 overall and 5-11 in SAC play, while the Bears are now 21-22 and 10-6 in the league.
The Indians got on the board first in the bottom of the third. Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) got on base with two outs when he was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Nick Martin (Morehead City, N.C.) drove him home with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the next at bat. David Tunstill (Melborune, Fla.) drove home the senior with a single to right field. Paul Silliman (Winter Garden, Fla.) hit a single that put runners on the corners, but the rally ended on a pop foul by Thomas Berryhill (Aynor, S.C.).
Brandon Petty (Melbourne, Fla.; 4-7) held the Bears scoreless for the first six innings of the game, but the visitors tied the game in the top of the seventh. Zachary Glass led off with a walk and was driven home on a double by Brian Dice. Dice would score on an RBI groundut by Stephen Andrews.
Newberry pulled back ahead in the bottom of the seventh when Martin's double down the left field line scored Casio Grider (Hephzibah, Ga.).
An unfortuante chain of events proved to be the Indians' undoing in the top of the eighth. With one out, J.D. Harrison's hard hit ball to third bounced off the bag and into left field over the head of the third baseman. Petty forced Daniel Ford into a full count, but Ford took the pitch out of the yard with his 10th homer of the season to give L-R a 4-3 lead. Andrews would record an RBI single in the top of the ninth to close the scoring.
Petty pitched 7.1 innings, allowed four earned runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking three. Lenoir-Rhyne starter Chris Henderson (4-4) went the distance, allowed three runs - one earned - on eight hits, striking out seven and issuing no walks.
Martin finished the game 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for the Indians. Rohena was hit by a pitch three times in the game. Andrews and Ford each had two RBIs for the Bears.
The two teams will meet again at the Smith Road Complex for a pair of seven-inning games on Sunday at 1 p.m.
---PLEASE NOTE the schedule change from Saturday to Sunday due to inclement weather...