NEWBERRY — Danton Hyman finished with three hits and a pair of runs scored, but it was not enough to lift Newberry over visiting Francis Marion in a 5-2 Patriots’ victory that prevented the Wolves from stretching their winning streak to three games.
Newberry (13-14) struggled to solve Francis Marion (12-16) reliever John-Riley Hathcock, who earned his first save of the season by facing the minimum in his four innings of work. He allowed a single base runner, on a walk with one out in the seventh, that was promptly erased on a popup to the first baseman that resulted in an unorthodox double play. He recorded two strikeouts on the evening.
Hyman stole the show offensively for Newberry by going 3-for-4 at the plate and scoring both of the Wolves’ runs. He led off the game with a single one pitch before Colin Allman’s single put two on and extended the shortstop’s reached-base streak to 29 games dating back to last season.
With one out, Ben Herring rolled into what appeared to be a tailor-made double play, but the throw to first was wild and allowed Hyman to sprint home and slide under the tag for an unearned run. Herring was put out trying to take second, but the damage was done as Newberry took a 1-0 lead.
The Patriots scored single runs in the second and third innings to take the lead, but Hyman retied the game in the third. He singled and swiped second for his 15th stolen base of the year. A flyout to right moved him to third base and an RBI groundout gave Derek Olenchuk his 33rd RBI of the season and the Wolves their second run of the game.
Olenchuk provided one of the game’s defensive highlights, gunning down a runner at home to end the fifth inning. The Patriots, however, had retaken the lead in the fourth pulled away with single runs in the sixth and seventh frames to give Hathcock all the run support he needed.
Francis Marion’s Austin Roseberry improved to 2-1 on the season with five innings of work, allowing both Newberry runs on five hits. Tomas Sorcia Jr. gave up three runs on nine hits for his second loss of the season.
Neither team flashed its power – the teams combined for 19 hits in the contest, 18 of which were singles. Newberry pitchers were adept at limiting damage, stranding 14 Patriots on the basepaths to keep the margin within reach.
Hyman’s three-hit day vaulted him into the team batting average lead at .390, followed closely by Allman (.387) and Olenchuk (.385). The trio is now ranked third, fifth and seventh in the South Atlantic Conference in batting average.