BREVARD, N.C. - Homeruns from Eric Barbieri and Brandan Sheridan proved to be crucial, as the Newberry Wolves held on for a 5-4 win over the Brevard Tornados at Gil Coan Field on Friday afternoon.
The Wolves are now 25-20 overall and 11-12 in South Atlantic Conference play, while Brevard is 16-30 overall and 9-16 in the league. The Wolves and Tornados close out the regular season with a doubleheader at noon Saturday.
With Lenoir-Rhyne's win at Lincoln Memorial on Friday, the Wolves' chances for Food Lion SAC Tournament qualification are still undecided and are dependent on Saturday's results around the league. Since Newberry was unable to play two conference games against Mars Hill, the Wolves cannot tie with any teams still in the hunt. The top six teams - determined by winning percentage - qualify for next weekend's Food Lion SAC Tournament in Forest City, N.C.
Barbieri (Marlton, N.J.) hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning to give the Wolves the lead for good, while Sheridan (Jacksonville, Fla.) hit a leadoff homer in the sixth which would prove to be the winning run.
The Tornados took the lead on Eric Renegar's solo homer in the first inning, but Newberry starter Jonathan Rosenberger (Anderson, S.C.) would shut the hosts down over the next six innings to give the offense the opportunities needed for an important SAC win.
After his fourth inning homer, Barbieri's bat would extend the lead in the fifth as he hit a double with runners on second and third with two outs, pushing the Newberry advantage to 4-1. Sheridan's solo shot in the sixth made it a 5-1 game.
The hosts scratched across a run in the seventh and Chris Christopoulos hit a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth, cutting the lead to one.
Newberry left the bases full in the ninth, and the Tornados had the tying run in scoring position twice in the bottom of the ninth, but Newberry caught a runner stealing and closer Tyler Sturkie (West Columbia, S.C.) induced a flyout and ended the game with a strikeout for a Wolves victory.
Rosenberger moved to 8-1 on the mound, allowing two runs in 7.0 innings on five hits and a walk, striking out five. Will Robbins (Edgemoor, S.C.) struck out three in the eighth inning, but gave up a two-run homer. Sturkie earned his seventh save of the season with the scoreless ninth, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out the game's final batter.
Barbieri was 3-for-5 in the game with three RBIs and a run scored, while Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. The Wolves now have 499 base hits on the season and will become the first Newberry team in 10 years with 500 hits with their first base hit tomorrow.