NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College baseball team took an early lead over Augusta State University, but was unable to hold on late, as the Jaguars defeated the Indians, 5-3, in non-conference action at the Smith Road Complex on Tuesday.
Newberry falls to 20-28, while Augusta State jumps to 27-24. The two teams will rematch tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Augusta.
The Jaguars took the lead in the top of the first on three consecutive singles, with Clay Haynes earning an RBI.
Newberry tied the game in the bottom of the first after a one-out double by Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) followed by a run-scoring single from Nick Martin (Morehead City, N.C.).
Alex Sickman led off the top of the second with a single for ASU and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Evan Smith's single put runners on the corners with one out, and a fielder's choice from Michael Fritz put the Jaguars up, 2-1.
Jose Rosa (Keystone Heights, Fla.) started the bottom of the second off with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Casey Faulkenberry (Camden, S.C.). Tyler Manasa (Miami, Fla.) drove a double to right-center to knot the game up at 2-all.
Newberry took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the third. David Tunstill (Melbourne, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a two-out single from Casio Grider (Hephzibah, Ga.). Rosa's double down the right field line scored Tunstill, but the inning ended with Grider thrown out at the plate.
The Indians held the lead through a strong pitching performance from freshman starter Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C.; ND). Through seven innings of work, McElwee allowed two earned runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out nine.
However, the Jaguars tied the game up in the top of the eighth. Bryson Smith led off with a single through the left side and moved into scoring position on Shannon Wilkerson's sacrifice bunt. Alex Walker's single to left plated Smith and tied up the game.
ASU claimed the lead in the top of the ninth with one out. Evan Smith reached on a single and Fritz attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt. However, Rosa's throw was errant, allowing Smith to advance all the way home. A pinch-hit RBI single from David Barnes put the Jaguars up by two.
Pinch hitter Brandon Mand (Laurinburg, N.C.) led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk and made it to second on a wild pitch. Martin appeared to have reached on an error, but the infield umpire ruled that the first baseman tagged Martin out while he was off the bag. Tunstill grounded out to end the game.
Chris Bremer (Port St. Lucie, Fla.; LP; 3-6) was tagged with the loss after allowing the two unearned runs in the ninth. Scott Strickland (WP; 1-2) allowed no runs on three hits in six innings of relief to earn the win.