NEWBERRY - The Newberry Wolves scored five straight runs and had the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth while down by one, but the visiting Tusculum Pioneers held on for a 9-7 South Atlantic Conference win at the Smith Road Complex on Friday night.
Newberry is now 13-9 overall and 5-3 in the South Atlantic Conference, while Tusculum is 12-6 and 6-4 in the league. The teams meet up for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.
Newberry took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) after Jermale Paige (Walterboro, S.C.) led off the inning with a double. The Pioneers took a 3-1 lead in the third when Heath Comerford hit a three-run homer to right field with two outs after an error earlier in the inning.
The Wolves cut the lead to 3-2 as Brandan Sheridan (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored when Chas Goodwin (Greer, S.C.) reached on an error, but the Pioneer swung momentum in their favor with a five-run fifth. After a hit batsman and a walk, Comerford hit another three-run homer and two runs came home on an Andrew Bowerman single to make it 8-2.
Newberry scored a pair in the bottom of the fifth, when Paige scored as Wesley Camp (Pelion, S.C.) advanced on an error after a single and Baur hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 8-4.
The scarlet and gray got to within one run after seven innings as the hosts brought home three runs after the stretch. Camp and Ryan Cranmer (Newport, N.C.) led off the inning with singles and a Baur RBI single brought home a run. Eric Barbieri (Marlton, N.J.) drove in a run with a fielder's choice and scored from third on a failed pickoff attempt by the catcher to cut the lead to 8-7.
Newberry had the bases loaded in the eighth on singles from Paige, Camp and Cranmer, but a strikeout and fielder's choice snuffed the rally. Tusculum added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a Pat Holleran sacrifice fly and the Wolves went down in order in the final half inning to hand the guests the win.
Baur, Camp and Paige each went 3-for-5 in the game as Newberry banged out 14 hits, with Baur driving in three. Sheridan and Cranmer each had two hits. For TC, Comerford had six RBIs on the pair of three-run homers.
On the mound, Alex Roberts (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) was tagged with the loss to fall to 2-2 after allowing eight runs - only five earned - on nine hits in 4.1 innings. Cole Cromer (North Augusta, S.C.) was effective in relief allowing one earned run in 3.2 innings. For Tusculum, Taylor Rakes earned the win to move to 3-1 after allowing seven runs - four earned - on 10 hits in 6.0 innings, striking out six Wolves.