Wolves sweep series over Coker

Staff Report
The Wolves completed a series sweep against Coker 12-1 and 3-2. - Courtesy photo

NEWBERRY – Newberry completed a series sweep over visiting Coker on Saturday afternoon, scoring in the late innings in both games to take a decisive 12-1 win in Game One of the doubleheader before coming from behind for a 3-2 win in Game Two.

The Wolves (16-14, 9-6 SAC) scored 11 of their 12 runs in the opening game in the seventh and eighth innings. Newberry sent 21 batters to the plate during the two frames, pounding out nine hits, drawing two walks, being hit by a pitch twice, and reaching on an error.

The rally began after Coker (11-17, 1-14 SAC) had drawn even with Newberry in the seventh inning, spoiling an outing by Dylan Southerland. He took a shutout into the inning, but allowed the first two men to reach, then made a heads-up defensive play on a sacrifice bunt attempt that put out the lead runner on his final pitch of the game.

The Cobras loaded the bases with a walk and drew even on an RBI fielder’s choice. The third pitcher of the inning, Charlie Fessler, faced two batters and ended the frame with a three-pitch strikeout that left the bases loaded and swung the momentum in Newberry’s favor.

The Wolves got RBI singles from Ben Herring and Tyler White, then scored a third run on a squeeze bunt by Tanner Lane. Fessler again stranded a pair in scoring position with a strikeout in the eighth before Newberry sent 14 men to the plate in an eight-run explosion punctuated by a Derek Olenchuk two-run blast to right field.

The third through fifth hitters in the lineup provided the bulk of Newberry’s offense. Olenchuk, Herring and White combined to go 8-for-14 with four runs scored, four batted in, and two walks during the contest. Olenchuk had multiple hits for the team-leading 18th time this season.

Fessler earned the win in relief to improve to 1-0.

Ryan Harbin came within one out of his fourth complete game of the season in Game Two, yielding to Shannon Smith for his team-best third save with two outs in the seventh and final inning. Harbin scattered six hits across his 6.2 innings of work and struck out eight, allowing just one earned run.

Harbin was in line for the loss until the late stages of the game, with Newberry getting a run on a full-count RBI single by Danton Hyman in the third, but entering the sixth frame trailing 2-1. Dalton Lansdowne began the rally with a one-out double with a sinking line drive off the third baseman’s glove that escaped into shallow left field.

Hyman singled through the left side on the next pitch and Lansdowne slid under the tag to tie the game at two. He moved to second with his league-leading 17th stolen base of the year. Olenchuk strode to the plate with two outs and wasted no time bringing Hyman home, rocketing the first pitch through the right side to give Newberry the lead for the first time in the game.

Coker threatened in the seventh, getting a single and a walk to put two on with one out. Harbin helped his own cause defensively, sprinting off the mound to snare a popped up bunt attempt, before giving way to Smith with two outs. Smith needed just three pitches to end the threat and give Newberry its ninth SAC win of the year.

Hyman was the only Newberry player with multiple hits in the second game, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and two batted in.

The Wolves completed a series sweep against Coker 12-1 and 3-2.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_ColorNC-Baseball.jpgThe Wolves completed a series sweep against Coker 12-1 and 3-2. Courtesy photo

Staff Report