HICKORY, N.C. — A pair of come-from-behind victories by Lenoir-Rhyne gave the Bears a series win over Newberry in Hickory Saturday afternoon.
The Bears (17-8, 6-3 SAC) trailed Newberry (11-11, 4-5 SAC) 4-2 in Game One before tying the game in the seventh and taking the lead in the eighth in an eventual 7-4 Lenoir-Rhyne win. Game Two followed a similar script, with a two-run fifth inning flipping the lead to the hosts in a 6-4 victory for the Bears.
Newberry’s biggest offensive blow in Game One came off the bat of Tyler White, who hit a three-run bomb to left field for his third home run of the last five games. White’s at-bat punctuated a four-run fifth inning that saw the Wolves capitalize on a pair of costly Lenoir-Rhyne errors; none of Newberry’s runs in the frame was earned.
The inning came in response to a two-run fourth by Lenoir-Rhyne to break a scoreless tie.
A two-run single in the seventh inning drew the Bears even. Newberry advanced a runner to third base in the eighth on a walk, a sacrifice, and a groundout, but the Wolves were unable to drive him home. Lenoir-Rhyne tacked on three more runs in the eighth, including a two-run double by center fielder Justin Dean that put the Bears into the lead for good.
Hunter Hill suffered the loss in relief, dropping to 0-2 on the year after giving up three runs on four hits through 1.2 innings. Dylan Southerland took a no-decision, exiting after allowing back-to-back hits to open the seventh frame. He struck out seven and walked two in 6.0 innings of work.
Lenoir-Rhyne’s Landon Whitson needed just five pitches to earn his fourth save of the year. He worked 0.1 innings in relief of winning pitcher Kevin LaRosa, who was lifted with two outs in the ninth after 2.2 hitless innings.
Whitson returned in the second game for his fifth save, this time working the entire seventh inning. Starter John Grigg improved to 4-0 on the year, while Mike DeLee fell to 1-3 in his inning out of the bullpen.
A Bears’ leadoff home run in the fifth inning evened the score at five. Lenoir-Rhyne took the lead four batters later with a two-out RBI single and added a run in the sixth for the final margin. Newberry put two runners on in the seventh, but pinch hitter Ian Clements flew out to end the threat.
Colin Allman drove in three of Newberry’s four runs, hitting a two-run single in the second and adding a sacrifice fly in his next trip to the plate. Derek Olenchuk had a pair of hits in each game to lead the Wolves offensively.
Prior to the weekend matchups the Wolves would also win Friday’s meeting with the Bears 11-1.