HARROGATE, Tenn. - The Newberry Wolves pounded out 16 hits and three homeruns, but the homestanding Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters exploded on offense for a 20-9 LMU win at Lamar Hennon Field in the opener of a South Atlantic Conference series Friday afternoon.
Newberry falls to 14-12 overall and 6-5 in SAC play, while Lincoln Memorical is now 11-13 overall and 7-6 in the league. The two sides will close out their SAC series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.
Freshman Bradley Nichols (Winter Springs, Fla.) had a breakout game at the plate in his first varsity collegiate appearance, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs on a double and a homerun. His second inning RBI double started the game's scoring and he was plated on an RBI single by Chas Goodwin (Greer, S.C.) to make it a 2-0 Newberry lead in the middle of the second.
LMU took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the second, but Newberry tied the game up in the top of the third on solo homers from Jermale Paige (Walterboro, S.C.) and Ryan Cranmer (Newport, N.C.) to knot the game at 4-all.
Unfortunately for Newberry, the Railsplitters scored nine straight runs to take a 13-4 lead after six innings.
The Wolves' bats came alive in the top of the eighth to narrow the margin. Nichols hit a two-run homer down the left field line, Andy Vogel (Marietta, Ga.) bashed a two-run double and Paige had an RBI single to cut the Railsplitter lead to 13-9 and give the scarlet and gray hope. The hosts quickly turned the momentum directly back into their favor, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the eighth to seal the win.
Besides Nichols' fantastic hitting day Eric Barbieri (Marlton, N.J.), Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.), Paige and Vogel each had two hits apiece. Alex Roberts (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) fell to 2-3 on the year after allowing eight runs in four innings on six hits.