NEWBERRY – Home runs on back-to-back pitches by Colin Allman and Derek Olenchuk lifted Newberry into a tie in the late stages of Saturday’s contest with visiting Millersville, but the Marauders struck back for a run in the ninth inning and held on for a 6-5 win to salvage a game in the weekend series.
Allman came to the plate with two outs and Tommy Passerello standing on second base after a leadoff double. He lifted a 1-0 offering over the fence in left field for his first career home run, signaling the end of the day for Millersville’s (3-3) Andrew Mayhew after one-third of an inning.
Facing new Marauders’ hurler Liam Grande, Olenchuk wasted no time in connecting on his first home run of 2018, sending the first pitch he saw into the trees to the left of the Smith Road Complex scoreboard in right field to tie the game at five runs apiece.
Millersville, however, responded with a ninth-inning rally to take a one-run lead. The Marauders loaded the bases for center fielder Cole Friese, who skied a fly ball deep to straightaway center that allowed pinch hitter Luke Trainer to score the go-ahead run.
The Wolves threatened in the bottom of the ninth, coaxing two walks from the Marauders’ Mike Mock to put two on with one out, but had a flyout and a popout to end the inning and halt a three-game winning streak.
Olenchuk finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored, a walk, and RBI, and a pair of diving catches in left field, including on a sinking liner in the top of the first that saved at least one run. He raised his team-high batting average to .440, good for sixth in the South Atlantic Conference among players with at least 10 at-bats on the season.
Millersville took a 5-2 lead in the sixth inning with a two-out rally, capitalizing on two walks, a pair of wild pitches, and a single to plate two runs. The Marauders also scored twice in the first inning on a booming triple to center field by Brandon White. Another triple, this time in the fourth inning triple by Eric Callahan, provided an insurance run after Newberry had rallied to tie the game at two in the second inning on RBI singles from Peyton Spangler and Danton Hyman.
Millersville’s Mock earned a win in two innings of relief despite locating just one-third of his pitches in the strike zone, holding the Wolves without a hit but issuing three walks. Mike DeLee suffered the loss in his first pitching appearance since the 2016 season finale.
Newberry travels to face Lander in Greenwood Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. before returning home for a three-game series with North Greenville that begins on Friday afternoon.