NEWBERRY – Jeff Sneed (Cumming, Ga.) was the hero for the Newberry Wolves as they took a Saturday sweep of the Carson-Newman Eagles for the first time since 2011. With the two wins, Newberry has tied the school record for South Atlantic Conference wins in a season with 17, set a season ago, and have clinched a spot in the top four in the final SAC standings. Newberry has never finished in any of the top three slots in the standings.
The Wolves took the first game of the double header 5-1 and won the second game, 7-3, on a walk-off grand-slam off the bat of Sneed in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Newberry improved to 27-16 on the year and 17-8 in South Atlantic Conference play while Carson-Newman falls to 23-17 overall and 11-15 in league action.
D.J. Martinez (Montpelier, Va.), Albert Baur (Philadelphia, Pa.), and JoJo Bradley (Spartanburg, S.C.) led the Wolves offensively with three hits each. Martinez tabbed a pair of triples, three RBIs and as many runs scored while Baur tagged a double, home run and scored three times.
Sneed had two hits, including the grand-slam, and drove in six runs in the two games, four of which came on the grand-slam.
Wesley Camp (Pelion, S.C.) gave Newberry another quality start on the bump, going eight complete innings, the most any Wolves’ pitcher has gone this season. He allowed only one run while scattering seven hits and tying his career high strikeout total of nine set back on March 1, 2014. With the win he improves to 7-2 on the season.
Baur got things started off with a bang as he sent a first pitch fastball into the trees beyond the right-field fence to put the Wolves up 1-0 after the first inning.
Newberry sent all nine batters to the plate in the third as they scored three runs after Nolan Schrenker (Valrico, Fla.) led off the inning with a double to right-field. After an intentional walk to Baur, Brandan Sheridan (Jacksonville, Fla.) laid down a base hit bunt down the third base line to load the bases for Bradley. The junior laced a single to right to plate Schrenker before a RBI single from Martinez and a sacrifice fly from Kirby extended the lead to 4-0 after three innings of play.
Camp only allowed one batter to reach base through the first three innings of play but Carson-Newman threatened in the top of the fourth as they put runners on first and third with two outs. However, Camp picked up a fly out to end the threat.
The Eagles scratched across their first run in the top of the fifth as three singles in a row cut the lead to 4-1 after four and a half innings of play.
Martinez hit his first triple of the afternoon with one away in the bottom of the seventh and scored on a sacrifice fly from Sneed to put the score at its final resting place of 5-1.
Carson-Newman had their last scoring opportunity in the eighth as a one out double and a hit by pitch put runners on first and second. A fielder’s choice and a fly out ended the inning and Daniel Nations (Central, S.C.) slammed the door in the ninth with a 1-2-3 performance.
Schrenker, Baur, Sheridan and Martinez all had two hits apiece while Baur scored twice in the contest.
As a team the Wolves had 10 hits which is the 10th time in the last 12 games Newberry has accumulated 10 or more hits.
Jon Rosenberger (Anderson, S.C.) had one hiccup in his outing but was able to put together another solid performance. He went 6.2 innings and received a no-decision while allowing three runs on eight hits and struck out eight Eagle batters, the fourth consecutive start for the senior with eight or more strikeouts.
The first two innings of the game went by quickly with neither side threatening, but a leadoff single advanced to second on a fielding error to start off the top of the third inning before a sacrifice bunt placed the man on third with only one out.
The next two batters singled and doubled, respectively, before another single three batters later plated the third and final run of the inning. At the end of two and a half innings of play Carson-Newman took their first lead of the afternoon 3-0.
Carson-Newman starter Jamie Miller carved up the Wolves’ hitters for the first three innings as Newberry did not advance a runner past second base. He finished the game with a career high nine strikeouts.
A leadoff walk in the top of the fourth came back to haunt Miller as Sheridan later came around to score on a perfectly executed safety squeeze from Martinez to narrow the score to 3-1.
After the third inning Rosenberger seemed to get stronger as the game went on and only allowed two runners to reach second base. He gave way to Mike DeLee (Dorchester, S.C.) with runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the seventh and DeLee struck out the next batter to end the inning. He went on to tally his second win of the year (2-1) while throwing 1.1 innings of perfect baseball.
The Wolves got a two out rally started with a single back up the middle off the bat of Bradley in the bottom of the sixth and he later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Martinez turned in the at bat of the afternoon as he fought off pitch after pitch with a 3-2 count and finally got one he could handle, roping his second triple of the day off the right-field wall to plate Bradley and put Newberry down one.
The triple ended Miller’s outing as the next batter, Sneed, stepped in to face Michael Cogliano. Sneed found himself down in a 1-2 hole, but got a hold of a hanging slider and turned it into a single to tie the game at three-all at the end of six complete innings.
Free baseball ensued but DeLee retired the Eagles in 1-2-3 fashion to put the Wolves right back in the dugout in the eighth.
Baur went the other way with a first pitch fastball for a double in the left-center gap to get things rolling for Newberry in the bottom of the eighth. Sheridan laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Baur ninety feet, putting the winning run on third base.
Two intentional walks loaded the bases for Sneed with one out. The sophomore looked at strike one before lifting a deep fly ball that carried over the left-field fence and landed in the pond for a walk-off grand-slam, locking up the series victory with a 7-3 victory. The home run was the second of the year for Sneed.
Newberry was productive in the contest, scoring their seven runs on just six hits while going 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Sneed had two hits in five trips to the plate with a home run and drove in five of the seven runs. Bradley was also 2-for-3 and scored twice while Martinez went 1-for-2 at the dish with a pair of RBIs and runs scored.
This was Newberry’s second come-from-behind win on the season and their third extra inning victory (3-0).
The Wolves and Eagles will complete the series tomorrow at the Smith Road Complex with a 1 p.m. first pitch.