NEWBERRY – Newberry College head baseball coach Russell Triplett has announced the Wolves’ schedule for the 2015 season.
Newberry will play a 49 game schedule with 24 games being held at the friendly confines of the Smith Road Complex where they posted an 18-10 mark in 2014.
The Wolves are coming off a 2014 season that featured 30 wins, a feat that has not been accomplished in over two decades. The team qualified for the South Atlantic Conference tournament for the fourth time in four years with Triplett at the helm.
A Newberry College program record was broken with seven Wolves earning All-SAC honors, breaking the previous record of four set in 2013. Third baseman Ryan Cranmer headlined the All-SAC honorees on the first team, while pitchers Wesley Camp and Jake Nidiffer found slots on the second team. Outfielder Alex Kirby, designated hitter Eric Barbieri and pitchers Cole Cromer and Daniel Nations received honorable mention status.
Camp and Kirby were also dubbed SAC Gold Glove winners. Cranmer became the first Newberry College baseball player to ever receive first team honors more than once in a career and was drafted in the 24th round by the Miami Marlins.
Historically the Wolves have played arguably one of the toughest schedules in the Southeast and that will not change in 2015. The Wolves will face five of the eight members of the final Division II baseball regional rankings from last season. Three of the teams will be faced in non-conference action while
Lander, USC Aiken and Georgia College were all featured in the final regional rankings at the end of last season. Both Lander and USC Aiken were also part of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball top 25 polls at the end last season.
Lander finished the year 52-9 winning the Southeast Regional tournament and advancing the Division II College World Series. They wrapped up the year at number four in the Collegiate Baseball poll and number two in the NCBWA. USC Aiken completed the season 36-17, coming in the 24th slot in Collegiate Baseball and 21st in the NCBWA poll.
The rest of the non-conference slate will feature Limestone, Erskine, Lincoln (Pa.), North Greenville and Belmont Abbey.
In conference, the two regionally ranked squads are Catawba and Wingate who are both South Atlantic Conference opponents. They both shared the regular season SAC title but Catawba took home the conference tournament trophy in Forest City, North Carolina.
The Wolves will open the season on February 1 when they host GRU Augusta at 2 p.m. They will then travel to Augusta, Ga. the following day to conclude opening weekend. Newberry will begin South Atlantic Conference play the very next weekend on February 6-7 when they host Anderson.