FOREST CITY, N.C. - Newberry senior Andy Vogel laid a perfect bunt down the first base line with a runner on third to score the game-winning run in the eighth inning, as the fourth-seeded Wolves eliminated the top-seeded Catawba Indians with a 3-2 win at McNair Field on Saturday night.
Newberry advances to Sunday action at the tournament, playing either Lincoln Memorial or Carson-Newman at 1 p.m. with the stakes to be determined by a 9 a.m. game between those two schools. Newberry moves its record to 29-21 on the season and claims its fourth win of the year over the regular season champion Indians, who complete the tournament at 35-16.
Wolves starter Alex Roberts (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) showed why his coaches had faith in him against the Indians, striking out nine batters and allowing three hits and three walks in 7.0 scoreless innings. He stranded six runners on base, including four in scoring position and worked out of numerous jams.
Catawba starter Ross Whitley was equally impressive, carrying a no-hitter for 6.2 innings. Despite this, the Wolves took a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Jermale Paige (Walterboro, S.C.) led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Gaine (Goshen, N.Y.) and went to third on a Wesley Camp (Pelion, S.C.) groundout. Anthony Siler (Longwood, Fla.) appeared to hit into a groundout, but forced a rushed throw with his speed. That caused an error to put the Wolves on the board.
The Indians finally got on the board in the eighth thanks to Newberry miscues, but Whitley plunked Ryan Cranmer (Newport, N.C.) and was pulled, leading to the crucial Newberry rally.
Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) crushed an RBI double off of the high wall in left field to tie the game and moved to third on a single by JoJo Bradley (Spartanburg, S.C.). With the infield unaware, Vogel (Marietta, Ga.) executed his bunt assignment to perfection, allowing Baur to slide under a tage and score the winning run.
Matt Chapman (Summerville, S.C.) moved to 4-1 on the season after getting a pair of outs in the eighth to snuff the Catawba rally, and Tyler Sturkie (West Columbia, S.C.) earned his eighth save of the year with a perfect ninth inning, including working around the first team all-SAC designated hitter.
Bradley went 2-for-3 in the game and was the only player with multiple hits for either team.