NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College baseball team snapped an eight-game losing streak in dramatic fashion, holding off a ninth inning Gardner-Webb rally to earn a 12-11 win at the Smith Road Complex on Wednesday night.
Newberry is now 13-25 on the year entering this weekend's road South Atlantic Conference series at Lincoln Memorial. Gardner-Webb, now 15-13 overall, hosts VMI in a Big South series at USC Upstate on Friday through Sunday. Wednesday's game was the first appearance by a Division I squad at the Smith Road Complex.
Aside from snapping the losing streak, Newberry's win was a landmark win in terms of the program's success against Division I teams. Newberry's last win against a D-I team before Wednesday came nearly 15 years ago, as the then-Indians defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 4-3, on April 15, 1995. It was the first time Newberry had played a Division I squad since hosting Brown University in 2005.
Scott Horvath (Apopka, Fla.) led the Newberry offense, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs on a two-run "pond shot" homerun to left field in the eighth inning. Pierce Labrador (Lexington, S.C.) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a double, while Chris Love (Columbia, S.C.) was 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Jim Pollack (Homer, Alaska) had two RBIs and Jose Rosa (Keystone Heights, Fla.) was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Gardner-Webb was led by Kurt Fulginiti (Matthews, N.C.), who went 4-for-6 with four RBIs and three runs scored, including a solo homer in the third inning.
Things did not start out so well for Newberry, as the Runnin' Bulldogs put four runs on the board in the top of the first inning. Aaron Miller (Beulaville, N.C.) and Adam McFarland (Boling Springs, N.C.) each hit RBI triples in the frame, while Fulginiti and Ty Boyles (Ararat, N.C.) also drove in runs.
Newberry responded with a run in the bottom of the frame. Labrador led off the inning with a double and was driven home on an RBI double by Sanchez Gartman (Newberry, S.C.) to make it 4-1. Fulginiti's fourth homer of the season into the pond beyond left field made it 5-1.
The scarlet and gray screamed back in the bottom of the fourth with six runs. Gartman walked to lead off the inning, Love reached on a single through the right side and Horvath laid down a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Pollack's single through the middle brought two runs home, followed by run-scoring single from Evan Darr (North Augusta, S.C.) and Rosa to tie the game. Back-to-back sacrifice flies from Michael Morin (Miami, Fla.) and Labrador gave Newberry a 7-5 lead after four innings.
The Bulldogs took the lead back in the sixth inning with five runs, only three of which were earned. Fulginiti hit a two-run single to tie the game at 7-all and Josh Drewery (Casar, N.C.) gave G-W the lead with an RBI single. An outfield error after a single plated two runs to make it 10-7. Newberry brought one run across in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) to make it 10-8.
Gardner-Webb scored a run on a two-out fielding error by Rohena to make it 11-8 at the seventh inning stretch, but the scarlet and gray would not go quietly into the night.
With one out and a runner aboard, Horvath crushed the first pitch he saw on a line over the left field fence to make it 11-10. Gardner-Webb had runners on first and third with two outs in the eighth and attempted a double steal, but Horvath cut the throw to second at shortstop and fired it home to put out the lead runner and keep the Bulldogs off of the scoreboard.
Rosa led off the bottom of the eighth with a double to right-center and Labrador's RBI single up the middle tied the game at 11-all. Gartman reached on an error with two outs and Love's hard-hit single through the left side scored the go-ahead run.
Gary Hersey (Key West, Fla.) quickly induced the first two outs of the ninth inning before a Bulldog rally with two singles and a walk forced Hersey from the game. Zach Tutak (Palm Coast, Fla.) came in to face the dangerous Fulginiti and got him to hit a towering pop-up that Gartman gloved in right field to end the game and the losing streak.
Hersey earned the win, pitching 1-2/3 innings of scoreless relief to move to 1-1 on the season, while Tutak earned his second save of the season with the final out. Adam Izokovic (Shelby, N.C.) gave up the go-ahead run in one inning of relief. The Bulldogs' ERA leader falls to 4-2 with the loss.
Newberry 12, Gardner-Webb 11
(Apr 07, 2010 at Newberry, S.C.)
Gardner-Webb........ 401 005 100 - 11 19 4 (15-13)
Newberry............ 100 601 22X - 12 14 5 (13-25)
Pitchers: Gardner-Webb - PAEPLOW, Kyle; WHITE, Josh(4); BOLING, Brandon(5); WILSON, Brock(7); HOWELL, Jeff(7); IZOKOVIC, Adam(8) and BOYLES, Ty. Newberry - Chris Roman; Chauncey Mattei(4); Dale Bennett(6); Gary Hersey(8); Zach Tutak(9) and Jim Pollack.
Win-Gary Hersey(1-1) Save-Zach Tutak(2) Loss-IZOKOVIC, Adam(4-2) T-2:55 A-254
HR GWU - FULGINITI, Kurt (4).
HR NEW - Scott Horvath (4).
PAEPLOW, K. faced 4 batters in the 4th.
WILSON, B. faced 1 batter in the 7th.
HOWELL, J. faced 1 batter in the 8th.
FULL BOX SCORE