|April 25, 2014||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: Jake Nidiffer (6-2)||2.2||2||2||2||3||5|
|Loss: Michael Trombino (1-4)||0.1||3||3||3||0||1|
|Paul Kronenfeld (CATBB)||5||1||3||1||0||0|
|Jermale Paige (NBY)||4||2||3||1||0||0|
|JoJo Bradley (NBY)||4||1||3||1||0||1|
|Mitchell Griffin (NBY)||4||0||3||0||0||0|
|D.J. Martinez (NBY)||4||2||3||0||0||0|
FOREST CITY, N.C. - A pitchers' duel was broken wide open in the latter stages of the game, as Ryan Cranmer's pinch-hit three-run homer pushed the fourth-seeded Newberry Wolves to a 10-7 win over the top-seeded Catawba Indians at McNair Field on Friday evening.
Newberry moves to 30-22 with the victory and keeps its chances of winning the double elimination tournament alive. Newberry plays Tusculum at 3:45 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game, with a berth to Championship Sunday on the line. The loser of that game will be eliminated. Friday's win gives Newberry 30 wins for the first time since 1999.
The Wolves trailed the Indians by a 5-0 count entering the bottom of the seventh inning before a massive two-out rally. D.J. Martinez (Montpelier, Va.) kept the inning alive with a single up the middle and moved to second on a bunt single by Alex Kirby (Chapin, S.C.). A single by Jermale Paige (Walterboro, S.C.) brought home the Wolves' first run of the day and Brandan Sheridan (Jacksonville, Fla.) made it a 5-2 contest with an RBI single.
After a pitching change, Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) made it a 5-3 game with an RBI single to left on a full count. At that point, the Wolves' first 18 base hits of the tournament had all been singles.
Enter Ryan Cranmer (Newport, N.C.). Newberry's first-ever two-time first team all-SAC honoree came off the bench and blasted his 10th homerun of the season over the 25-foot high wall in left field to plate three runs and give Newberry a lead it wouldn't relinquish. JoJo Bradley (Spartanburg, S.C.) followed the senior's lead and went opposite field for his first homerun of the season over the monster wall in left, flipping the script to a 7-5 Wolves' lead.
After stranding two Catawba runners in the top of the eighth, Newberry tacked on three important insurance runs on a wild play where a Baur single combined with a Catawba error in the outfield scored three runs. Catawba plated a pair of runs in the ninth, but a strikeout with a runner on third ended the game.
Newberry starting pitcher Cole Cromer (North Augusta, S.C.) was on fire early in the game, allowing only two singles up the middle in the first four innings. Catawba opened the scoring in the fifth on a pair of doubles and scored two unearned runs in the sixth. Malachi Hanes led off the seventh with a double to start another rally to out Cromer from the game after 6.1 innings. He struck out two and walked none, but allowed nine hits.
Freshman second team all-SAC honoree Jake Nidiffer (Columbia, S.C.) came out of the bullpen for the first time since February 8 and was fantastic, allowing just two ninth inning runs in 2.2 innings with three walks and five strikeouts to move his season record to 6-2.
Cranmer's three RBIs on his only at bat of the night were certainly the most dramatic, but the Wolves were solid throughout the lineup, pounding out 17 hits. Bradley, Martinez, Paige and Mitchell Griffin (Columbia, S.C.) were all 3-for-4 on the night, while Baur was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.