NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College baseball team came back from three runs down to earn a 5-4 win over the visiting Augusta State Jaguars at the Smith Road Complex on Wednesday. The win snaps a seven-game losing streak for the scarlet and gray.
Newberry (12-15) benefitted greatly from the performance of outfielder Michael Morin (Miami, Fla.), who went 3-for-4 on the night and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Newberry hits the road to take on Wingate University in a South Atlantic Conference series starting with a single game at 7 p.m. Friday. The two sides will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Augusta State (18-19) led by three runs after the first inning, but could not hold onto the lead. Tim Rawlings (Mundelein, Ill.) was 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and two runs scored for the Jaguars. ASU hosts North Georgia for a three-game Peach Belt Conference series on Saturday and Sunday after dropping a one-run game for the second day in a row.
The Jags took an early lead off of Newberry starter Phillip Bartz (LaCrescent, Minn.), who took the mound for the first time since March 2008. Jorge Virguez (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led off with a double to right followed by an Alex Walker (Englewood, Fla.) walk. Rawlings drove Virguez in with an RBI double and a balk plated Walker. A sacrifice fly from Kevin Owens (Blaine, Wash.) gave ASU the early 3-0 lead.
Newberry scratched a run back in the bottom of the second after Casio Grider (Hephzibah, Ga.) led off with a double down the right field line. Grider advanced to third on a groundout by Scott Horvath (Apopka, Fla.) and scored on the first career RBI from Hunter Wynn (Vero Beach, Fla.) to make it a 3-1 contest.
Augusta State pushed the lead back to three runs when Evan Smith (Watkinsville, Ga.) drew a bases loaded walk with one out in the top of the fifth. However, Newberry's Ernest Castellano (Homestead, Fla.) struck out the next batter and induced a pop-up to get out of the jam with no further damage.
Newberry tied the game back up with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Morin smacked a one-out single to left-center and was followed up by an infield single from Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico). After Morin advanced to third on a wild pitch, Jim Pollack (Homer, Alaska) drove him home with an RBI single. Grider knotted the game at 4-all with a two-run double to the gap in left-center.
For the next two and a half innings, Castellano and ASU ptcher Scott Strickland (Richmond Hill, Ga.) shut down their opposition. However, a Strickland error in the bottom of the eighth would prove to be the turning point in the game. With an 0-2 count and one out, Newberry catcher Jose Rosa (Keystone Heights, Fla.) laid down a bunt and Strickland's throw to first sailed into foul territory, allowing Rosa to scamper to second. After a Thomas Berryhill (Aynor, S.C.) walk, Morin knocked an RBI single to left field to plate Rosa and give the hosts the 5-4 lead.
Chris Roman (Kissimmee, Fla.) came into the game to pitch in the ninth for Newberry, forcing the dangerous Rawlings to pop out in the first at-bat. He followed that with two strikeouts to earn his team the win and pick up his first save of the season. Castellano (4-3) earned the win after pitching 3-2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, walking two and striking out five. Strickland (2-4) was tagged with the loss for ASU, pitching 3-1/3 innings, but allowing the one unearned run in the eighth.
Newberry 5, Augusta State 4
(Apr 01, 2009 at Newberry, S.C.)
Augusta State....... 300 010 000 - 4 6 1 (18-19)
Newberry............ 010 030 01X - 5 12 1 (12-15)
Pitchers: Augusta State - Chase Johnston; Scott Strickland(5); Stephen Ramsey(8) and Alex Sickman. Newberry - Phillip Bartz; Chauncey Mattei(1); Ernest Castellano(5); Chris Roman(9)
and Jim Pollack; Jose Rosa.
Win-Ernest Castellano(4-3) Save-Chris Roman(1) Loss-Scott Strickland(2-4) T-2:57 A-210
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, High 60s
FULL BOX SCORE