Newberry salvages series with improbable comeback in finale

Box Score

BREVARD, N.C. – A furious ninth-inning rally by visiting Newberry gave the Wolves an improbable 8-5 victory in the final game of a three-game South Atlantic Conference set, allowing Newberry to salvage a game in the series.

The Wolves sent 11 men to the plate in a six-run ninth inning that saw Brevard cycle through four pitchers. The biggest blow came on a two-run double by Brandan Sheridan that gave Newberry the lead for good. The wild ninth inning saw the Tornados commit three errors and allow two unearned runs to cross the plate.

Newberry’s late-game heroics were necessitated by an equally improbable sequence in the bottom of a seventh inning that saw 10 Brevard batters. Newberry starter Jonathan Rosenberger had been nearly unhittable through the first five frames, retiring 15 of the first 17 batters he faced and at one point sitting down nine straight Brevard hitters.

The Tornados appeared to be on the verge of breaking through against Rosenberger in the sixth. Brevard loaded the bases with one out without the benefit of a hit, with Caleb Sherman reaching base after being plunked with an inside pitch before Brennan Allen and Hunter Donaldson were walked. An infield fly provided the second out of the inning, then a fielder’s choice to the shortstop allowed the Wolves to escape with no damage.

Brevard finally chased Rosenberger from the game after he faced two batters in the seventh and did the bulk of their damage against reliever Matt Chapman. A bases-loaded sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Brayden Morris produced the first run of the inning before Allen’s RBI single up the middle brought Pat Quinn in to score. Ryan Smith then notched an RBI on a double down the left field line with an error on a misplay near the left field corner allowing a second run to score. Donaldson’s RBI single brought an end to the scoring and gave Brevard momentum heading into the final innings.

Prior to the disastrous ninth inning, Brevard flashed its leather several times to keep Newberry off the board. Smith saved a run in the top of the first inning with a fantastic play that came with one out and runners on first and second. Sheridan hit a blistering two-hopper to Smith, who speared the ball near the bag at third base, recorded the force out, and threw across the diamond to record the double play.

Later in the game, Newberry had runners on second and third with one out in the seventh and was looking to add to its 2-0 lead. Smith again saved the day for Brevard, spearing a blistering line drive with the infield drawn in to save two runs from scoring. Starting pitcher J.D. Chaplain finished with three strikeouts, including twice victimizing catcher Sam Jones with a devastating slider after dropping his arm angle to a three-quarter delivery.

Chaplain was left with a no-decision after giving up two runs, one of which was unearned, on five hits in 6.1 innings. Ryan Williams suffered the loss, allowing two ninth-inning runs without recording an out. Newberry’s Daniel Nations picked up the win in relief, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

The Tornados return to action on Tuesday afternoon in a nonconference tilt with Belmont Abbey. First pitch from Gil Coan Field is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

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