NEWBERRY - The Newberry College Wolves have been caged up the past week with the bad weather but are ready for a big non-conference game with the Erskine Flying Fleet on Tuesday. The Fleet are ranked sixth in the latest Southeast Regional poll from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Newberry is ranked eighth.
WHERE: Due West, S.C. - Grier Field
WHEN: 2 p.m., Tuesday, February 24
RECORDS: Newberry 7-4 and Erskine 11-1
LIVE AUDIO: http://www.NewberryWolves.tv
LIVE VIDEO: N/A
LIVE STATS: http://www.ErskineSports.com
WEATHER: 39 degrees with a 50% chance of wintry mix in the morning giving way to cloudy skies with a light winds in the afternoon
Newberry exploded offensively for the second 20-run outing in four games last Wednesday as they routed the Limestone Saints 20-5 at the Smith Road Complex after facing a tough 5-4 walk-off defeat on Tuesday against the GRU Augusta Jaguars in Augusta. Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) has been tearing the cover off the ball the past two weeks and went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate against the Saints with a pair of home runs, five runs scored and seven RBIs en route to hitting for the cycle. Over the two game span last week he hit .700 (7-for-10) with a double, triple, two home runs, five runs scored, nine RBIs and 16 total bases.
In the past five games Baur has been nearly unstoppable, picking up 14 hits in 20 plate appearances (.700) with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, 13 runs scored, 14 RBIs, a 1.550 slugging percentage and a .769 on-base percentage. He currently ranks second in doubles, triples and slugging percentage and is third in home runs, total bases and runs scored.
In that same span Brandan Sheridan (Jacksonville, Fla.), JoJo Bradley (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Robert Kosch (Clemson, S.C.) have also been hot at the plate. Sheridan is 10-for-21 (.476) with a pair of doubles, a triple and 11 RBIs while Bradley has also tallied 10 hits, including two doubles, for a .455 average but has crossed the plate eight times for the Wolves. Kosch has been a fantastic leadoff man as he is hitting .391 (9-for-23) in the five games with four walks and 10 runs scored.
The Wolves will go up against a strong Erskine team that is just coming off their first lost of 2015. The Flying Fleet won 11 games in a row to start off the season before suffering a 6-1 defeat by Barton in the final game of their three-game Conference Carolinas opening series at Greir Field.
The Fleet have gotten comfortable at home as they have not played a road game yet in 2015 and are playing very well at Grier Field, hitting .399 as a team and compliling a 1.32 team ERA.
Erskine has tallied 163 hits on the year including 48 for extra bases. They have scored 132 runs of which 115 have been driven in and have been very disciplined at the plate, striking out 45 times in 409 at bats while drawing 48 walks and getting hit by pitches 14 times. On the mound the Fleet staff has allowed 64 hits in 102.0 innings pitched and have only surrendered 27 runs, of which 15 were earned. They carry over a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio, fanning 91 batters and allowing free passes to only 41.
Newberry will send freshman Robert Westenrieder (Taylors, S.C.) to the mound for his second career start. On the year Westenrieder carries a 1-0 record with a 1.80 ERA in 10.0 innings pitched. The southpaw has scattered eight hits while allowing only three runs, of which two were earned, and has struck out seven batters.
Erskine will counter with Westenrieder's former high school teammate, sophomore right hander Kyle Foster. Foster is 3-0 in three starts so far on the year with a 1.93 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched. He has walked five while striking out seven in starts against Benedict, GRU Augusta and Anderson. In his last appearance he went 7.2 innings, scattering five hits and allowed two earned runs versus Anderson en route to picking up the win.