February 23, 2018123456789RHE
Win: Greg Valentine (3-0) 4.230006
Loss: Evan Estridge (0-2) 6.165314
John Sharpe (C-N) 412100
Tyler Thompson (C-N) 302100
Danton Hyman (NBY) 512000
Colin Allman (NBY) 512000
Derek Olenchuk (NBY) 402100
Wolves fall to Carson-Newman in SAC opener

Wolves fall to Carson-Newman in SAC opener
Friday, February 23, 2018 | by Randall Stewart, Director of Athletic Communications

NEWBERRY – An opportunistic Carson-Newman team used a big seventh inning to down Newberry 5-3 at the Smith Road Complex in the South Atlantic Conference opener for both teams Friday night.

The Wolves (4-7, 0-1 SAC) led Carson-Newman (8-4, 1-0 SAC) 11-7 in the hits column but stranded eight men on the basepaths. The top third of the Newberry order went 6-for-14 with two runs scored and an RBI and eight of nine starters finished the game with a hit, but Carson-Newman took the lead in the seventh and kept Newberry at arm’s length the rest of the way.

The Eagles opened the scoring with a pair of unearned runs in the first, including one on a play where a baserunner was picked off and caught stealing in a rundown between first and second base but evaded a tag long enough for a run to score from third. The visitors finally got to Newberry starter Evan Estridge in the seventh, tagging him for three runs on four hits in the inning.

Catcher Ethan Goforth started the inning with a first-pitch double down the left field line before Colby Morgan rolled into a fielder’s choice that didn’t produce an out. An RBI single tied the game at three, an infield single gave the Eagles the lead, and a double into the left center field gap provided Carson-Newman with an insurance run.

Newberry got a leadoff single to begin the bottom of the eighth, but a 6-4-3 twin killing ended the threat. Carson-Newman’s Greg Valentine retired the final four Newberry hitters he faced to earn the win in relief and improve his record to 3-0 on the season.

The Wolves scored single runs in the third through fifth innings to take the lead. A perfectly-executed hit-and-run by Colin Allman and Ben Herring scored Allman from second base in the third inning. Chase Barbary’s second home run of the season, a no-doubter to left center, tied the score in the fourth.

Newberry totaled four hits in the fifth inning but could only push across one run on Derek Olenchuk’s RBI single through the right side. Newberry loaded the bases with one out before Valentine, freshly inserted into the game in relief of starter Dalton Long, wiggled out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to end the Wolves’ best threat of the night.

Olenchuk showed off his glove in left field with a pair of dazzling plays, diving to snare a sinking liner in the first inning and making another diving play in the third. Colin Santiago had an equally impressive diving catch that also came in the third inning.

Estridge suffered the loss to drop to 0-2 on the season, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits in 6.1 innings. Quinton Driggers needed just two pitches to record two outs in the seventh, while Tomas Sorcia, Jr. faced one batter over the minimum in his 2.0 innings of work.

Center fielder Danton Hyman increased his hitting streak to eight games while Allman reached for the 13th straight contest dating back to last season. Olenchuk picked up his sixth multi-hit game of 2018 with a 2-for-4 performance.

The teams will play a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m.