NEWBERRY — The Newberry offense exploded for five runs over its final two trips into the plate to turn a tied game into a convincing 9-4 win over visiting Erskine Wednesday.
The Wolves (22-18), who have gone 11-5 over their last 16 games dating back to a doubleheader sweep over Lincoln Memorial on March 17, built a 14-6 lead in the hits column with five players recording multi-hit games, including three with three hits apiece.
Catcher Chase Barbary had easily the best day of his young career, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and three RBI in addition to catching a runner stealing. The Western Carolina transfer set a career high in hits and tied his previous best in RBI’s.
Designated hitter Ben Herring went 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored, marking the seventh time this season the senior has recorded three or more hits in a game.
Danton Hyman continued hitting at his torrid pace, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a walk, a run, and an RBI. Hyman raised his batting average to .418, and is ranked fourth nationally with 66 hits on the season. He also extended his league lead and solidified his top-10 standing nationally in stolen bases, recording two more to bring his season total to 24.
Newberry was tied 4-4 with Erskine (23-18) heading into the bottom of the seventh, when the back half of the batting order sparked a big inning. Ben Herring singled and stole his second base of the game to move into scoring position for Barbary, whose single up the middle gave Newberry the lead for good.
Barbary stole second during an eight-pitch walk by pinch hitter Ian Clements that began with a pair of called strikes. Hyman then hit a perfectly-placed double just inside the chalk down the left field line to plate Clements. With the infield drawn in, Dalton Lansdowne lifted a soft blooper that fell just behind the bag at second base for a run-scoring single.
The Flying Fleet escaped the inning without further damage, but conceded two more runs in an inning that saw two hits and three Erskine errors, including two on the same play.
Erskine scored twice on three hits in the second inning and tied the score with two runs on two hits in the sixth but managed just one hit over the remaining seven frames. Tomas Sorcia Jr. pitched better than his no-decision would indicate, at one point needing just 26 pitches to retire 10 consecutive Erskine batters from the second through fifth innings, seeing the streak come to an end with an error, and pitching into the sixth inning by setting down the next two batters on five total pitches. He struck out five with two walks in 5.2 innings.
Sorcia was charged with both runs in the sixth before yielding to Robert Westenrieder with two outs. The senior left-hander earned the win by pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. Charlie Fessler and Shannon Smith worked an inning apiece to close out the win.
The trio of pitchers out of the bullpen combined to allow just one hit with three strikeouts and one walk over the final 3.1 innings.
Prior to the Wolves’ contest with Erskine, Newberry would come out on top against Augusta 8-0 Tuesday, led by senior starting pitcher Hunter Hill.