NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College baseball team staged a valiant comeback effort after falling behind Lander University by five runs, but the rally fell just short of victory as the visiting Bearcats took a 7-6 win at the Smith Road Complex on Tuesday night.
With the result, Newberry falls to 12-21 overall, while the Bearcats jump to 19-11 on the season. Newberry hits the road on Friday to take on the Tusculum Pioneers in a three-game South Atlantic Conference series, while Lander hosts Francis Marion for a three-game Peach Belt set this weekend.
Newberry opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning after Derek Bley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) led off the frame with a walk. A sacrifice bunt from Hunter Cox (Andrews, S.C.) moved him to second and a two-out single from Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) put Bley on third. Scott Horvath (Apopka, Fla.) hit a dribbler to third that the LU third baseman could not get to in time, driving Bley home and giving the hosts the 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats opened their scoring account with a big fourth inning. Newberry starter Chauncey Mattei (Greenville, S.C.) issued two walks and allowed a single to load the bases and Hunter Dowis (Greenwood, S.C.) recorded a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-all. Another walk put Mattei out of the game and Lander third baseman Robert Skinner (Hartsville, S.C.) welcomed reliever Chris Mansbach (Winter Park, Fla.) with a bases clearing triple to left-center to make it a 4-1 game. An RBI single from Jordan Owens (Inman, S.C.) made it a 5-1 game after three-and-a-half innings.
Newberry narrowed the deficit to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI single from Chris Love (Columbia, S.C.), but the inning ended there as he was thrown out trying to extend the hit into a double.
Lander tacked on solo runs in the seventh and eighth on RBI singles from Aaron Fludd (Tampa, Fla.) and Brooks Reames (Aiken, S.C.) to make it a 7-2 game before the Newberry rally began.
Rohena led off the bottom of the eighth with a double down the right field line. Horvath attempted to sacrifice bunt Rohena over, but poor defense by the Bearcats left nobody covering first base and he reached on the bunt single, moving Rohena to third. A similar bunt by Jim Pollack (Homer, Alaska) plated Rohena and made it a 7-3 game. Horvath and Pollack then executed a double steal and the catcher's throw could not be contained, allowing Horvath to score and putting Pollack on third.
Chris Love (Columbia, S.C.) walked and Sanchez Gartman (Newberry, S.C.) was hit by a pitch, loading up the bases with none out. Keke Wadsworth (Pomaria, S.C.) and Bley each drove in a run with RBI groundouts to the right side, but pinch hitter Evan Darr (North Augusta, S.C.) struck out to end the big inning with Newberry only down by a solitary run, 7-6.
Stellar defense allowed Newberry to escape the top of the ninth unscathed, as the scarlet and gray ended the inning when Fludd attempted to score from second on a potential two-base sacrifice fly. The connection form Wadsworth-to-Rohena-to-Pollack was perfectly placed and just in time to nail Fludd at the plate and give Newberry a chance to tie or win in the bottom of the ninth.
Rohena drew a one-out walk, but Newberry could not generate any more offense as Horvath was caught looking at strike three on the outside corner and Pollack's long fly ball to right-center was contained by the Smith Road fences to end the game.
Rohena went 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Newberry offense, while Fludd went 3-for-5 to pace the Bearcats. Mattei (0-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing four earned runs in 3-2/3 innings of work in his first start of the season. Brandon Farquhar (Mossley, Ontario, Canada; 5-1) earned the win in five innings of work, allowing only one earned run, while Casey Pippin (Greenwood, S.C.) earned his first save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Lander 7, Newberry 6
(Mar 30, 2010 at Newberry, S.C.)
Lander.............. 000 500 110 - 7 15 1 (19-11)
Newberry............ 001 001 040 - 6 10 0 (12-21)
Pitchers: Lander - Brandon Farquhar; Derek Whaley(6); Brantley Blalock(8); Casey Pippin(9) and Joe Tebaldi; Michael Vesnesky. Newberry - Chauncey Mattei; Chris Mansbach(4); Evan Brown(5); Zach Tutak(8) and Jim Pollack.
Win-Brandon Farquhar(5-1) Save-Casey Pippin(1) Loss-Chauncey Mattei(0-1) T-3:04 A-228
Weather: Clear, Mid 60s
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