NEWBERRY — The Newberry Wolves took an early lead on the No. 4 Lander Bearcats, but the bats were consequently shut down in a 5-2 loss at the Smith Road Complex on Tuesday night.
Newberry falls to 15-10 overall at the halfway point of the season and will visit Tusculum for a South Atlantic Conference series this Friday and Saturday. Lander is now 20-3 on the year and hosts GRU Augusta in a weekend series.
The Wolves started off with the better offensive night, as Alex Kirby had a first inning double before being stranded on third and Nolan Schrenker and D.J. Martinez each reached with one out in the second.
After a sacrifice bunt, Brandan Sheridan launched a ball into centerfield that eluded a diving Lander defender, rolling out for a triple and staking Newberry to a 2-0 lead.
Lander responded in the third with a leadoff homer by Austin Dunn and a two-run homer from Connor Lewis to make it s 3-2 contest. In the fourth, Lander scored a pair of runs on a balk with two runners in scoring position followed by an RBI triple by Erik Lunde.
From there, both sides’ pitching stole the show. Newberry reliever Jonathan Rosenberger pitched 5.1 innings of relief and allowed no runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Lander’s Ryan Jones moved his record to 4-0 on the season with a complete game, allowing the two unearned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks. At one point, Jones retired 12 Wolves in order.
Outside of the extra base hits from Kirby and Sheridan, Jermale Paige, Albert Baur, Eric Barbieri and Martinez collected hits for Newberry.