NEWBERRY - Chas Goodwin's three-run triple with two outs in the bottom of the eighth gave the Newberry Wolves the edge they needed to take a 16-15 win over the visiting Benedict Tigers on Wednesday night in what will be remembered as one of the wildest games in the history of the Smith Road Complex.
With the win, Newberry moves to 23-17 overall, while Benedict drops to 18-7 on the year. The Wolves are scheduled to host Carson-Newman in a South Atlantic Conference series on Friday and Saturday. Weather is threatening to alter the weekend's schedule. All schedule changes will be posted on www.NewberryWolves.com and on Twitter at @NewberrySports.
Goodwin (Greer, S.C.) smashed his first career triple with the bases loaded in his only official at bat of the night, erasing a two-run deficit.
The Wolves had led big early in the game, thanks in large part to the big bat of Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.). The sophomore hit a pair of three-run homers and drove in a total of seven runs.
Baur's first smash flew all the way into the golf team's short game facility in the first inning. He was followed by a pair of RBI singles from JoJo Bradley (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Matt Gaine (Goshen, N.Y.) pushed the lead to 5-0 after one frame.
The Tigers scored a pair in the second on a two-run single by Jan Oyola and Gaine responded in the third with his second RBI single of the night to make it a 6-2 lead. Benedict plated three in the fourth on a two-run single by Wilfredo Colon, who scored on an overthrow when he stole third to make it 6-5 in the middle of the fourth.
Bradley Nichols (Winter Springs, Fla.) and Bradley each hit RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth, and Baur blasted his second three-run bomb of the night in the fifth to push the lead to 11-5.
After the Tigers scored a pair in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by Lashante Grimes, Baur hit a sacrifice fly and pinch hitter Austin Bryson (Boiling Springs, S.C.) hit an RBI single in the bottom of the frame to re-establish the six-run advantage at 13-6.
That's when the wheels flew off.
Pitching and defensive woes set in for the Wolves in the seventh, as three straight walks and a pair of hit batsmen brought in a pair, and a Jocquese Brunson single made it 13-10. A dropped fly ball on a sacrifice fly by Lydell Moseby scored three runs to tie the game, and a Doren Blake single up the middle gave the Tigers their first lead of the game at 14-13.
Newberry stranded two runners in the bottom of the seventh and faced an even tougher hill to climb, when two wild pitches in the eighth scored another Benedict run to put the hosts down 15-13.
The Wolves toyed with fate in the bottom of the eighth before Goodwin's heroic hit. Alex Kirby (Chapin, S.C.) reached on a walk with one out and stole second before Adam Lawson (Jonesville, S.C.) put the tying run on base with two out with a walk.
Bradley smashed a ball to the right side which the Tigers' first baseman couldn't handle, loading the bases. Goodwin fought his way to a full count, with one foul ball barely eluding the Benedict right fielder. Two pitches later, the junior laced a ball to right-center that rolled all the way to the wall, bringing home three to give the scarlet and gray the lead.
The adventure wasn't over, as Kurtis Burnett singled and advanced to second on an error to lead off the ninth. Lawson instigated a fantastic double play to get the Wolves one out away, but a dropped fly ball and a walk put the winning run on base. Tyler Sturkie (West Columbia, S.C.) got a ground out to finally put an end to three hours and 30 minutes of wild baseball.
Matt Chapman (Summerville, S.C.) moved to 2-1 on the season with 1.1 innnings of relief, allowing only one run. Sturkie earned his sixth save of the season and second in two days with a shutout ninth inning.
Baur was 4-for-5 with seven RBIs, while Bradley had three hits. Gaine and Nichols also had a pair of hits.