NEWBERRY – The Wolves outlasted the visiting Tusculum Pioneers in a South Atlantic Conference twin bill at the Smith Road Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Newberry dropped the first game to the Pioneers in a 3-0 shutout but took the series with a 5-3 victory in the second game.
Wesley Camp (Pelion, S.C.) was the leading hitter for the Wolves with three hits in six trips to the plate on the day while also driving in two runs. Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.) and JoJo Bradley (Spartanburg, S.C.) were the only other Newberry batters to record multiple hits, as they each went 2-for-7 while Bradley also drove in a run.
A pitcher’s duel started the afternoon at the as there were only a combined 10 hits in the first game.
Ethan Carpenter went all the way for the Pioneers in the first game, logging nine innings while scattering four hits and striking out as many without allowing a run or a walk. The right-hander only needed 99 pitches to complete the game for his third win of the year (3-0).
Newberry only managed to get five runners on base in the ball game.
Baur picked up a two-out single in the first but was forced out at second base on a ground out to end the inning. He reached base again as he blistered a double down the right field line with one away in the fourth but was left stranded.
Camp led off the fifth with a single but was caught stealing to end the threat and Brandan Sheridan (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached on an error in the seventh but was caught in a pickle trying to advance on a ball in the dirt.
Bradley gave Newberry hope in top of the final frame with a two-out double but a deep fly ball by Baur to left-center ended the ball game.
Wolves’ starter Jon Rosenberger (Anderson, S.C.) was exceptional but came up on the short end of the stick to drop his third contest of the season. The right-hander tossed seven complete innings and scatterd five hits while surrendering three runs, only one of which was earned. He recorded as career high of 10 strikeouts and only gave up two free passes to Tusculum.
Matt Chapman (Summerville, S.C.) threw the final two innings in scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out a batter.
Tusculum needed only one inning to complete their scoring as a leadoff single got them going in the third. A sacrifice bunt and another single put runners on the corners with one out before a muffed throw on a double play attempt plated the first run of the game.
A walk loaded the bases and a two-RBI single scored the final two runs of the inning and the score stood at 3-0 in favor of Tusculum.
The Pioneers had three more opportunities to score as a leadoff single was left stranded at second in the fourth and then in the top of the seventh Rosenberger worked his way out of a jam as leadoff double, walk, and a passed ball on a strikeout loaded the bases with two outs. However, a line out to center field ended the inning and left the Wolves still trailing by three.
Chapman faced trouble in the top of the ninth after a leadoff single was sacrificed over to second but a fielder’s choice deep in the hole at short erased the lead for two outs. An error put runners on first and second but a fly ball ended with the runners being stranded.
Seniors Camp and Cole Cromer (North Augusta, S.C.) played the heroes in the second game as Camp was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and Cromer put in his fourth complete game on the season as Newberry walked away with a 5-3 victory and the series win in game three.
After a 1-2-3 first inning for both sides Tusculum got on the board first in the top of the second as a one-out single got the Pioneers rolling. After a fly out and another base hit a two-out, two-strike triple put gave Tusculum the early 2-0 advantage after the batter was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into an inside-the-park home run.
The Wolves immediately answered with two of their own runs as Zach White (Taylors, S.C.) picked up a one-out single and Ben Herring (Hopkins, S.C.) was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second for Camp. The left-handed hitter drove a 0-1 pitch into the left centerfield gap for a RBI-double and a sacrifice fly from Jacob Bass (North Augusta, S.C.) knotted the game up a two apiece.
Two more runs came for Newberry in the fifth as a one-out bunt single from Bass and a double to left-centerfield gap off the bat of D.J. Martinez (Montpelier, Va.) put the Wolves ahead 3-2.
After a sacrifice bunt from Robert Kosch (Clemson, S.C.) moved Martinez to third, Bradley produced a two-out single through the right side and extended the lead to 4-2.
An insurance run came in the bottom of the sixth as White was hit by a pitch and Alex Kirby (Chapin, S.C.) came on to pinch run and stole second base. With two-outs Camp came through again as he hit a single back up the middle to plate Kirby and put the score at 5-2 heading into the final frame.
After the second inning Comer did not allow a runner to reach base until the sixth when his only walk of the out reached first, but was immediately erased by a 3-6-1 double play.
A leadoff single came around to score on a one-out double to left center, but groundouts to second and short ended the game with the score at 5-3 in favor of the Wolves.
Cromer finished the game with all seven innings pitched while scattering six hits and allowing three runs with a walk and recorded a strikeout. He improves to 4-3 on the year while Tusculum starter McKenly Berry falls to 2-4.
With the split Newberry is now 16-15 overall and 9-8 in South Atlantic Conference play while Tusculum is 15-10 and 10-5 in league action.
Newberry will host two mid-week contests at the Smith Road Complex this week with Anderson in non-conference action on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. and Belmont Abbey on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. first pitch.