MARS HILL, N.C. – The Newberry Wolves ended their three day road trip with a series split with the Mars Hill Lions on Monday afternoon at Don Henderson Field.
After a 7-4 extra inning win and a 6-4 loss, the Wolves move to 14-12 on the year and 7-7 in South Atlantic Conference play while the Lions are now 7-14 overall and 4-10 in league play.
Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) led Newberry with four hits in nine trips to the plate, which included a double, home run and two runs batted in. Jacob Bass (North Augusta, S.C.) tallied a 3-for-6 day and scored two runs while Wesley Camp (Pelion, S.C.) and Robert Kosch (Clemson, S.C.) each went 3-for-7 at the plate. Camp scored three runs and drove in one while Kosch hit a two-run double in the first game.
Matt Chapman (Summerville, S.C.) picked up his first win of the season in the 10-inning contest, going four and two-thirds innings in relief of starter Mike DeLee (Dorchester, S.C.). Chapman allowed one run on three hits while fanning three batters and DeLee posted three strikeouts in the game, allowing three runs, all earned, on eight hits.
Patrick Clarey (Megget, S.C.) earned the first save of his career after tossing a perfect inning and striking out two Mars Hill hitters.
Alex Roberts (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) was tagged with the loss in game two after going six innings, scattering eight hits, allowing six runs, five earned, and mowing down five hitters.
A chess match ensued in the first game of the afternoon as the scoring went back-and-forth all 10 innings.
Mars Hill got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second on an RBI-double by Dalton Eisenbath and added another in the bottom of the third after Ray Carolina hit a leadoff double and came around to score on a sacrifice fly two batters later by David King, putting the score at 2-0 after three complete innings.
Newberry stranded a leadoff single in the third inning but Baur came to the plate with one out in the top of the fourth and launched a letter-high, 3-1 fastball, into the parking lot behind right field to cut the score to 2-1 in favor of the Lions.
The Wolves picked up a pair in the fifth as a leadoff double by Brandan Sheridan (Jacksonville, Fla.) advanced to second on a bunt single by Bass and scored on the play as the Mars Hill pitcher picked up the ball and threw it wildly down the right field line. Bass was later picked off at second base but D.J. Martinez (Montpelier, Va.) reached on a throwing error by the catcher and scored on an RBI-single by Bradley later in the inning.
Newberry still had runners on first and second with one out but the Lions were able to get out of the jam with only giving up two runs and the score stood at 3-2 in favor of the Wolves.
The lead did not last long, however, as the first batter in the bottom of the fifth, Evan Rogers, hit a first pitch fastball over the left field fence to knot the game up at three-all.
Both sides were held scoreless for the next three innings, but the Lions had multiple chances to walk off with a win.
Mars Hill had first and third with two outs in the sixth but could not convert and saw a golden opportunity in the seventh vanish as they loaded the bases without making an out.
Chapman was baffling as he struck out a batter, recorded an infield fly and induced a ground ball to end the inning, stranding all three Lions, and send the game into extra innings.
Newberry had a runner at third in the seventh and men on first and second in the eighth, both scenarios with two outs, but were unable to cash in as a lineout and a groundout ended the innings, respectively.
Bass singled to right field to lead off the top of the ninth and after a sacrifice bunt by Martinez, stood at second base with one away. Baur came up two batters later and delivered yet again, blistering a double to the left center gap on a 1-1 count to plate Bass and put Newberry back in the lead at 4-3.
The Lions answered one more time as Carolina hit a one-out double to the right center gap and later scored on base hit through the left side by Dylan Powers to tie the game at four apiece.
Newberry did not leave Mars Hill a glimmer of hope in the top of the tenth as a full count, leadoff double from Sheridan and a pair of walks loaded the bases without an out. Camp smacked a hanging breaking ball back up the middle in a 1-2 count to force the score to 5-4 and Kosch came up three batters later, hitting a sinking line drive into left field that hit off the glove of the diving Mars Hill outfielder that plated two more runs. When the dust had settled, Newberry emerged on top with score at 7-4.
Clarey retired the side in order in the home half to seal the victory for the Wolves and give a chance at a South Atlantic Conference road series sweep.
Baur, Sheridan, Bass and Tommy Passerello (Davenport, Fla.) each picked up two hits apiece while Camp came in at 3-for-5 for the game.
Carolina was 3-for-5 at the plate for Mars Hill and scored three runs while Powers, Eisenbath, Phillip Carroll, and Tommy Scala all had two hits each.
The Wolves left four runners in scoring position and six men on base in the second game, dropping a 6-4 decision and had to settle with a series split with the Lions.
Newberry came out swinging in game two as Bradley hit a one-out double in the top of the first off the center field wall, but the opportunity was squandered as Mars Hill starter Zac Brown recorded two straight outs to end the threat.
The Lions started off the bottom of the first frame with a pair of strikeouts but after a hit-by-pitch and a single, runners occupied the corners with two outs. A double to left center by Eisenbath plated both runs and after the end of the inning Newberry trailed 2-0.
Newberry cut the lead in half in the third as Jeff Sneed (Cumming, Ga.) singled, advanced to second on a groundout to second, then to third on an infield single from Bass and later stole home on a first-and-third play to set the score at 2-1.
A leadoff double for Rogers in the home half of the third got things rolling again for Mars Hill as a walk and sacrifice bunt left runners on second and third with one out. A single and a double in back-to-back at bats by Carroll and Eisenbath pushed the score to 4-1 and left men still standing at second and third, however, a pair of strikeouts stranded the runners and ended the inning.
Newberry went down in order from the third through the fifth, but a leadoff single by Kosch in the sixth gave some life to the offense. A lineout ensued in the next at bat and Baur followed with a single to move Kosch to third with one away. Unfortunately, a lineout and strikeout ended the inning and left the runners standing on first and third.
The Lions went down in order in their half of the fourth and fifth, but plated two more runs in the bottom of the sixth as a batter reached base on a hit-by-pitch with one out to start the rally. A single and flyout in the next two at bats left two outs and men on first and second but a pinch-hit single from Alex Zachary plated another run and Mars Hill had runners on the corners, still with two away. A passed ball extended the lead to 6-1 before the final out of the inning was recorded and the Wolves needed to mount another miraculous comeback in the top of the seventh to stay alive.
Sneed led off the final frame with a double to left field and was followed up by a catcher’s interference to have runners on first and second without an out. Nolan Schrenker (Valrico, Fla.) was called upon to pinch hit and delivered in a big way as the junior found himself down in the count 1-2 but on the ensuing pitch he belted a hanging breaking ball high in the sky to center field that landed on the hill beyond the fence in left center field for a three-run blast, his third of the season.
The energy and excitement found a new level in the Newberry dugout and just like that the Wolves were only down two and did not have an out.
After a groundout to the shortstop, a walk and fielding error by the Lions’ third baseman brought Baur to the plate as the go ahead run. The senior laced a 2-2 pitch through the left side to load the bases with only one away and Sheridan coming to the plate. He grounded a 0-1 pitch to the second baseman for the force-out at second base and the shortstop threw onto first and Sheridan was called out when he looked to be clearly safe. An argument from Newberry fell on deaf ears and the Wolves hopes abruptly came to halt as the final score stood at 6-4.
Kosch, Baur and Sneed each tallied two hits apiece for Newberry with Sneed scoring twice.
Eisenbath was the star for Mars Hill with a 2-for-3 outing and three runs batted in while Carroll was also 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in a run and scoring one as well.
Brown picked up the win for the Lions in 6.1 innings of work, surrendering nine hits and four runs, three earned, while striking out six and walking one. Nick Villalobos was credited with the save after recording two-thirds of an inning, as he induced the double play on Sheridan to end the game.
The Wolves will return to action on Wednesday as they travel to USC Aiken for a non-conference tilt with the Pacers that begins at 6 p.m. They return home to the Smith Road Complex this weekend, March 20-21, to host the Tusculum Pioneers on Friday at 6 p.m. for a single, nine-inning contest and a double header on Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.