NEWBERRY – An explosive offense and a lights-out performance by a quartet of Newberry pitchers turned Newberry’s nonconference tilt with Lander into a one-sided affair in a 15-1 Wolves’ win.
The 15 runs represented Newberry’s (6-8) highest scoring total since a 17-1 win over Benedict on March 29 of last season. Newberry outhit Lander (5-9) 19-3 in the contest and had five starters finish the game with multiple hits.
Derek Olenchuk showed the way for the Wolves offensively, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and four batted in. The senior left fielder had a pair of doubles, was perfect on two stolen base attempts, and made a sensational diving catch along the left field line to save at least one run on what was ultimately a sacrifice fly.
Olenchuk’s big day raised his batting average from .358 to .397, tied with center fielder Danton Hyman for the team lead after Hyman went 3-for-5 with an RBI, a walk, and three runs scored, all while extending his team-best hitting streak to 11 games. Both Olenchuk and Hyman are 23-for-58 with 10 runs scored and five doubles on the season.
Designated hitter Ben Herring and second baseman Dalton Lansdowne also had impressive outings, both totaling three hits, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Colin Allman extended his reached base streak to 16 games with a 2-for-4 day that saw him drive in a run and score three.
Several Wolves—Daniel Trillo, Hunter Rachels, Robert King, and Beau Thompson—made their first collegiate appearances in the late innings, with King and Rachels recording assists and Rachels scoring a run after drawing a full-count walk in the eighth.
While the offense stole the headlines, Newberry’s pitching was dominant throughout the night. Tomas Sorcia, Jr. improved to 3-0 in his career by shutting down the Bearcats over his five innings of work, allowing one unearned run and a lone hit. Sorcia struck out the side in the third on his way to eight punchouts while issuing just one walk.
Lander leadoff hitter Vincent Addona singled through the left side on the fifth pitch of the game, but Sorcia responded with a strikeout and a 5-4-3 double play to erase him from the basepaths. He faced the minimum through four before allowing an unearned run in the fifth.
Senior southpaw Robert Westenrieder picked up right where Sorcia left off in the sixth, striking out three batters in two innings. Jonathan Elicier allowed a hit in the eighth and Austin Walker pitched a perfect ninth, bringing Newberry’s totals to 13 strikeouts and one walk allowed.
The Wolves scored a run on a leadoff single and stolen base by Hyman followed by a rocket up the middle from Allman. Newberry added an Olenchuk two-run double and a Kevin Clanton RBI single in the third and run-scoring hits by Allman and Olenchuk in the fourth before a seven-run explosion in the seventh, six of which came after a fielder’s choice that could have ended the inning produced no outs and three of which were unearned.
Newberry tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning to complete the scoring while holding the Bearcats at bay.
The Wolves return to South Atlantic Conference play this weekend with a trip to Mars Hill. The series begins at 3:00 p.m. Friday and concludes with a Saturday doubleheader beginning at noon.