ANDERSON - Ryan Cranmer hit a game-tying homerun in the ninth inning and drove in four runs while Daniel Nations pitched five innings of two-hit relief to lead the Newberry Wolves to an 8-4 win over the Anderson Trojans in 11 innings at Memorial Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Newberry is now 27-21 overall and 15-13 in the South Atlantic Conference, clinching a berth in next weekend's Food Lion SAC Tournament in Forest City, N.C. The Wolves and Trojans (18-28 overall, 13-14 SAC) will meet for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday to wrap up the Wolves' regular season. Newberry also ran its winning streak to seven games.
Cranmer (Newport, N.C.) was 4-for-5 on the day with a homer and a double. His first of four RBIs on the day came on a two-out single in the top of the first to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) pushed Newberry's lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth with a sacrifice fly, but the Trojans answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 lead.
Jermale Paige (Walterboro, S.C.) tied the game up in the top of the sixth with an RBI groundout, but Anderson would take the lead once again in the bottom of that inning on Jonathan Zalud's RBI single.
Nations (Central, S.C.; 5-2) came into the game in the seventh and was stellar, allowing a single to his first batter before shutting the Trojans down for the rest of the afternoon.
Unfortunately for Newberry, the Wolves' hitters were also struggling until Cranmer came to the plate with two out in the ninth and smashed his ninth homerun of the season to left field, tying the game up at 4-4.
After stranding a runner on second base in the seventh inning, Nations retired 11 straight Trojans, sending the game to extra innings. In the 11th, Alex Kirby (Chapin, S.C.) led off with a bunt single and Paige hit a single through the right side to put two runners on. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to Baur loaded the bases, Cranmer drove a double to dead center field, which brought home two runs and gave the Wolves the lead. JoJo Bradley (Spartanburg, S.C.) drove in another two runs with a single up the middle, giving the Wolves a four-run cushion to work with.
With one out in the bottom of 11th, Nations sandwiched a single between a pair of walks to bring the tying run to the plate with the bases loaded. Before the Trojans could pressure the Wolves, he quickly induced a popup to second and then struck out the final batter of the game looking to send the Wolves to Forest City next weekend.
Nations pitched 5.0 innings of two-hit relief with five strikeouts and three walks, while starter Wesley Camp (Pelion, S.C.) got no decision after allowing four runs on six hits in 6.0 innings with three strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Cranmer was 4-for-5 with four RBIs and a pair of runs, while Paige and Bradley had three hits each and Baur and Kirby had two hits apiece.