April 08, 2011123456789RHE
Win: Mario Rojas (3-2) 6.253234
Loss: Christian Hicks (2-4) 6.186512
Kevin Rufus (NEW) 312101
Chris Love (NEW) 412110
Derek Bley (NEW) 412000
Chris LaVenia (LRU) 402110
Walton Shepherd (LRU) 422100

Wolves hold off Lenoir-Rhyne for 6-5 win in series opener
Friday, April 8, 2011

HICKORY, N.C. - The Newberry College Wolves held off a late charge from the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears to pick up a 6-5 win in the first game of the South Atlantic Conference baseball series at Bears Field on Friday night.

Newberry (18-22, 10-12 SAC) took advantage of L-R errors to take a lead in the first and Tyler Sturkie (West Columbia, S.C.) picked up his second save of the week as he struck out the final two Lenoir-Rhyne (12-29, 6-15 SAC) batters of the game.

The Wolves got on the board in the top of the first inning after Sanchez Gartman (Newberry, S.C.) and Chris Love (Columbia, S.C.) hit back-to-back singles. The pair executed a double steal and the Bears' catcher threw the ball errantly to allow Gartman to score and Love to move to third. Love was plated on an RBI groundout by Evan Darr (North Augusta, S.C.) to give Newberry an early 2-0 lead.

Lenoir-Rhyne's Dalton Hall hit an RBI double in the second inning to narrow the deficit to 2-1, but Newberry starter Mario Rojas (Miami, Fla.; 3-2) was efficient through the rest of his outing. The sophomore went 6.2 innings allowing only three runs on five hits.

While Rojas kept the Bears off of the basepaths, Newberry came up with two-out homeruns in the fifth inning from Kevin Rufus (Andrews, S.C.) and in the sixth inning from Andy Vogel (Marietta, Ga.) to push the lead to 4-1.

In the seventh inning, the Wolves extended their lead to 6-1 on an RBI single by Terrence Gray (Newberry, S.C.) and a bases loaded walk drawn by Love. Gray's base hit extended his hitting streak to a season-long seven games. The Bears answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, but ended the inning with the bases loaded when Kyle Christian (Charleston, S.C.) came in and induced a popup to end the frame and minimize the damage.

Neither team could muster any offense in the eighth inning and Newberry could not extend the lead in the ninth, but the Bears would not die quietly. Max Priest led off with a single and Walton Shepherd reached on an error. Back-to-back RBI singles from Chris LaVenia and Stephan Arcieri cut the lead to 6-5. Sturkie came in the game and gave up a sacrifice bunt to put the runners on second and third, but struck out the next two batters to escape without any damage and give the Wolves the win.

Rufus, Love and Derek Bley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) each collected two hits in the game.

The Wolves and Bears conclude the series Saturday with a doubleheader. The first game is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

Newberry 6, Lenoir-Rhyne 5
(Apr 08, 2011 at Hickory, N.C.)
Newberry............ 200 011 200 - 6 9 2 (18-22, 10-12 SAC)
Lenoir-Rhyne........ 010 000 202 - 5 8 1 (12-29, 6-15 SAC)
Pitchers: Newberry - Mario Rojas; Chauncey Mattei(7); Kyle Christian(7); Tyler Sturkie(9) and Chas Goodwin. Lenoir-Rhyne - Christian Hicks; Ryan Jones(7); Cole Erxleben(7) and Brian Dice.
Win-Mario Rojas(3-2) Save-Tyler Sturkie(5) Loss-Christian Hicks(2-4) T-2:50 A-325
HR NEW - Kevin Rufus (3); Andy Vogel (3).