HICKORY, N.C. - The fifth-seeded Newberry College baseball team was defeated by the second-seeded Carson-Newman Eagles, 6-2, in the first round of the 2008 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at Bears Field on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne College on Thursday.
Carson-Newman (37-14) advances to face the winner of Thursday night's matchup between No. 3 Tusculum and No. 4 Lenoir-Rhyne on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Newberry (20-26) will face No. 6 Wingate, which lost to Catawba 10-7 on Thursday afternoon, on Friday at noon.
Hontz' (WP, 10-1), who was named SAC Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday night, tossed his sixth complete-game win of the season, striking out nine, scattering nine hits.
The Eagles struck first in the bottom of the third as senior Langdon Potts (Dandridge, Tenn.) drilled a fly ball off the top of the fence in right center. The ball would get away from right fielder Tyler Manasa (Miami, Fla.) on the play, and Potts would come around to score for an inside-the-park home run. Catcher Jonathan McMahon (Charlotte, N.C.) also scored on the play, after leading off the inning with a single.
The Eagles built on their 2-0 lead, manufacturing another third-inning run after a Jason Gray (Rutledge, Tenn.) single. Freshman Wesley Dozier (Cornelius, N.C.) advanced Gray with a ground ball to first.
Gray would steal third, and score on a single down the line in right field by First team All-SAC outfielder Nick Achberger (Anderson, S.C.), giving the Eagles a 3-0.
Carson-Newman added a run in the fourth. Tyler Wynn (LaGrange, Ga.) drew a lead-off walk, coming around to score on McMahon's RBI single, his second hit of the day.
The Eagles' loaded the bases in both the fourth and fifth, but could only manage Wynn's run.
Hontz worked his way out of his first jam of the game in the sixth.
After a single by senior Manasa, Newberry found itself with runners at second and third on a double by Phillip Bartz (LaCrescent, Minn.) with one out.
Hontz answered the threat, getting Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) to fly out to shallow center and striking out Nick Martin (Morehead City, N.C.).
Newberry would get its first run of the game in the seventh. First baseman David Tunstill (Melbourne, Fla.) ripped a double down the left field line to lead off the inning, his eighth of the season. He would later score, when Chad Perschbacher (Makanda, Ill.) singled through the left side to cut the Eagles lead to 4-1.
Carson-Newman added two insurance runs in the eighth, stretching the lead to 6-1.
Potts had C-N's only hit in the inning, driving in McMahon for the second time on the day. Gray followed with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Potts, who stole second and took third on a balk by Newberry reliever Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C.).
Newberry's Casio Grider (Hephzibah, Ga.) added an RBI double in the ninth to reach the game's final tally.
Newberry's starter Chris Bremer (LP, 3-5) went four and a third innings, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs.
Potts led the Eagles, finishing the afternoon 3-for-5 with three RBIs and scoring twice. Gray added two hits and two stolen bases, pushing his season total to 27.