GREENWOOD, S.C. - The Newberry College baseball team started the 2012 season off on the right foot with a 7-5 victory over the Lander Bearcats in the first-ever game at Lander's new Dolny Stadium.
The Wolves move to 1-0 on the season while Lander falls to 0-1. The two teams face off again on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the second game of a three-game weekend series.
Newberry freshman Alex Roberts (Myrtle Beach, S.C.; 1-0) got the win in his collegiate debut, allowing one earned run in four innings of relief , with the run scoring on a sacrifice fly.
Preseason all-SAC second baseman Andy Vogel (Marietta, Ga.) went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, while John Fogarile (New York, N.Y.) also drove in two runs. Preseason all-SAC closer Tyler Sturkie (West Columbia, S.C.; 1) pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his first save of the season.
The Wolves opened the scoring in the top of the first, with Kevin Rufus (Andrews, S.C.) nearly rounding the bases as the first batter of the game, when a three-base error by the left fielder almost became an inside-the-park homerun before Rufus stumbled crossing third base. He would score on Fogarile's RBI groundout in the next at bat to give Newberry an early 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Owens in the bottom of the first, and took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by Erik Lunde and a sacrifice fly by Thomas Berry.
Newberry regained the lead in the top of the third inning with a two-out rally from the top of the order. Rufus reached on a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a balk. Fogarile drove him in with a single, and Vogel's RBI double brought Fogarile home. Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) brought Vogel home with an RBI single to give Newberry a 4-3 lead. Lander's AJ Nunziato tied the game up with an RBI double in the bottom of the third.
Wesley Camp (Pelion, S.C.) led off the top of the fifth with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch to get Newberry's next rally going. Rufus' RBI double to center put Newberry ahead again, and he was able to score from third on a Vogel RBI groundout to put Newberry up 6-4. Roberts then executed the shutdown inning and did not allow a baserunner until his ninth batter faced.
A Lander sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh narrowed the Wolves' lead to 6-5, but Vogel led the eighth off with a double and came home on a single by Hunter Cox (Andrews, S.C.) to put on the insurance run and give Newberry the win.
Newberry 7, Lander 5
(Feb 03, 2012 at Greenwood, S.C.)
Newberry............ 103 020 010 - 7 8 1 (1-0)
Lander.............. 121 000 100 - 5 7 1 (0-1)
Pitchers: Newberry - Josh McElwee; Alex Roberts(4); Jeremy Long(8); Tyler Sturkie(9) and Matt Gaine. Lander - Ross Davis; Todd Hughson(5); Michael White(9); Scott Elitzky(9) and Jeff May.
Win-Alex Roberts(1-0) Save-Tyler Sturkie(1) Loss-Ross Davis(0-1) T-2:50 A-1250
FULL BOX SCORE