NEWBERRY – The Newberry College baseball team got the first game of three in their annual fall world series off to a dramatic start with extra innings on Sunday afternoon.
Game one featured a fantastic pitchers’ duel by the Scarlet and Gray teams as both squads worked out of numerous jams. The teams combined to strand 19 base runners on the day. However, the Scarlet squad was able to push a run across in the bottom of the 8th to take the win and a 1-0 lead in the series over the Gray squad.
The Gray squad had a chance in the top of the second as Bradley Nichols was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Later in the inning, Joey Ruiz and Tommy Passerello both walked to load up the bases with two outs. Alex Kirby then hit a laser in the hole between first and second base but Robert Kosch made an outstanding diving catch to end the inning and left three runners stranded.
The Gray put the pressure on again in the top of the 6th as Nichols reached on error followed by a DJ Martinez single to right. With the runners advancing to second and third with only one out, Joe Vonderschmidt forced a fly out and a line out to keep the shutout alive.
In the top of the eighth the Gray squad created another scoring opportunity. Brandan Sheridan and Nichols recorded back to back singles to start off the inning. They moved up on a double steal to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Vonderschmidt responded by picking up a strike out and ground out before handing the ball over to Austin Walker. Walker then forced a ground ball to end the threat.
The Scarlet squad took full advantage of their only scoring opportunity of the afternoon. Ben Herring led off with a single through the right side. Daniel Nations came on to pinch run and was immediately put in motion with a perfectly executed hit and run by Joseph Chaney to put runners on the corners with two outs. Chaney stole second and an intentional walk loaded up the bases. The next batter, Jacob Bass, was hit by a pitch to plate the only run of the afternoon giving Scarlet the walk off win.
Patrick Clarey tossed seven innings of shutout baseball for the Gray squad scattering six hits while only allowing one walk. Vonderschmidt went four and two-thirds innings for the Scarlet squad, allowing four hits and tallying four strike outs. Bass paced all offensive efforts going 2-3 at the plate and picking up the winning RBI.
Game two is slated to be a seven inning contest with first pitch set for 7 p.m. tomorrow evening. The series will conclude Tuesday with a nine inning match-up that also begins at 7 p.m.