MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Newberry College Wolves trailed by eight runs entering the seventh inning, but scored nine straight runs to pull off a stunning 14-13 victory over the ninth-ranked Bobcats of Georgia College at John Kurtz Field on Wednesday evening.
Newberry (17-22) battled back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit, using nine pitchers, while the Bobcats (24-11) used eight hurlers.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, with Shawn Ward, Tanner Funk and Travis Echols each recording RBIs in the frame. Newberry responded with three runs of its own in the top of the second to tie the game at 3-3. Chas Goodwin (Greer, S.C.) hit a two-run single and Kevin Rufus (Andrews, S.C.) hit an RBI single to tie the game. Chris Harper (Lexington, S.C.) hit an RBI single in the top of the third to give Newberry a 4-3 lead.
Georgia College took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back homeruns by Richard Pirkle and Echols and a sacrifice fly by Daniel Bick made it 7-4 in the Bobcats' favor.
Sanchez Gartman (Newberry, S.C.) led off the fifth inning with a double and would later score on a steal of home plate, as he and Evan Darr (North Augusta, S.C.) pulled off a double steal to cut the lead to 7-5. However, GCSU extended the lead to 11-5 in the bottom of the frame with a two-run single by Funk and sacrifice flies form Echols and Cody Maas. A pair of Bobcat runs on sacrifice flies from Maas and Bick in the sixth pushed the lead to 13-5.
But facing a steep deficit against a strong opponent, the Wolves did not back down. The comeback started in the seventh when Andy Vogel (Marietta, Ga.) hit a single and Harper reached on a walk. Derek Bley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) crushed a two-run triple down the right field line and later scored when Goodwin reached on an error to make it 13-8. The Bobcats' Josh Young led off the bottom of the inning with a double off of Wade Ruff (Rock Hill, S.C.), but Ruff retired the next three batters in order to keep the hosts off of the board.
In the eighth, Rufus and Gartman led off with walks and Caleb Brazell (Blythewood, S.C.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Vogel brought home a run when he was hit by a pitch, Harper earned an RBI when he hit into a fielder's choice and Brazell made it home while Harper avoided a rundown to make it 13-11. Newberry pitcher Kyle Christian (Charleston, S.C.; 1-0) sat down three Bobcats in order to send the game to the ninth with the Wolves in striking distance.
Bley led the ninth off with a walk, Goodwin hit a single and Terrence Gray (Newberry, S.C.) drove Bley home with a bunt single to cut the lead to 13-12. Rufus loaded the bases with a bunt single and none out to put Newberry in prime position to earn a win. Gartman tied the game at 12-all with a sacrifice fly to left, and Chris Love (Columbia, S.C.) gave Newberry the lead with another sacrifice fly.
With the lead, the responsibility of the final three outs fell on the shoulders of Tyler Sturkie (West Columbia, S.C.). Sturkie answered the call will flying colors, striking out all three Bobcat batters he faced to earn his fourth save of the season and giving the Wolves the thrilling win.
Goodwin went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, while Bley and Vogel each collected three hits.
The Wolves return to action with their final road South Atlantic Conference series at Lenoir-Rhyne. The series starts with a 6 p.m. Friday game and concludes with a 1 p.m. Saturday doubleheader.
Newberry 14, No. 9 Georgia College 13
(Apr 06, 2011 at Milledgeville, Ga.)
Newberry............ 031 100 333 - 14 13 1 (17-22)
Georgia College..... 304 402 000 - 13 12 1 (24-11)
Pitchers: Newberry - Alex Brown; Robert Langford(2); Matt Mege(3); DJ Hearsey(4); Nate Edler(5); Chris Mansbach(6); Wade Ruff(7); Kyle Christian(8); Tyler Sturkie(9) and Chas Goodwin; Patrick Regalado. Georgia College - Taylor Hart; Chris George(2); Michael Jeanes(2); Ryan Parson(4); Walker McKinven(5); Shawn Haley(7); Benton Yaun(8); Matthew Robinson(8); Tanner Moore(9) and Richard Pirkle.
Win-Kyle Christian(1-0) Save-Tyler Sturkie(4) Loss-Tanner Moore(1-3) T-3:25 A-333
HR GC - Richard Pirkle (7); Travis Echols (3).
FULL BOX SCORE