Newberry secures first SAC Tournament Title since 1999
KODAK, Tenn. — For the first time since 1999 the No. 10 Newberry College (41-10) baseball team raised the South Atlantic Conference tournament trophy in the air as the Wolves picked up both wins on Monday afternoon with wins of 5-4 and 8-4 over the Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial.
Junior Jacob LeBron (Lexington, S.C.) was named the tournament MVP for his efforts on the weekend, including going 4-for-7 in the second and third games of the series scoring three runs and tallying an RBI. Sophomore Tyler Chinpire (Jupiter, Fla.) and sophomore Trevor Linaman (Wellford, S.C.) picked up wins on the day while senior Colm O’Shea (Sunnyside, N.Y.) picked up the save in the “if necessary” game to shut down the Railsplitters and secured the tournament.
The Wolves were balanced at the plate throughout the day as senior Braylin Marine (Freeport, N.Y.) was the only Wolf to post multiple RBIs in a single contest. Newberry scattered seven hits in the first game while adding an additional one to their tally in the late game, posting eight hits.
Game One: Newberry 5, LMU 4
The Wolves were able to post three runs in the second inning of the opening contest of the day as they were able to jump out to an early lead. A sacrifice squeeze, an RBI-single, a pair of stolen bases and another RBI-single were strung together for Newberry in the frame to take the 3-0 lead. It wasn’t until the bottom of the third when Lincoln Memorial was able to put their first run on the board of the day, but Newberry kept it to just one as they continued to lead 3-1.
The bottom of the fourth saw LMU tie up the game at three, but Newberry was able to re-take the lead in the top of the fifth inning as sophomore Kade Faircloth (Oviedo, Fla.) drove in a run with another RBI-single to take the 4-3 advantage right back. The score would hit a stalemate at that point until the bottom of the seventh when the Railsplitters tie the game back up, but a passed ball in the top of the ninth gave the Wolves the lead for good as Linaman was able to retire the side in the bottom of the frame to secure the 5-4 win and force the “if necessary” game.
Game Two: Newberry 8, LMU 4
A pair of runs found their way on the board for the Wolves in the bottom of first as an RBI single by sophomore Jonathan Velez (Mayaguez, P.R.) and a perfectly executed double steal attempt that allowed the runner on third to score gave Newberry the 2-0 lead. That lead doubled plus another run in the bottom of the third as Marine blasted a triple to the right center field gap that drove in two runs and then he trotted the final 90 feet on a throwing error to extend the lead to 5-0.
While LMU was able to post a run in the top of the fourth before the Wolves were able to match that effort in the bottom of the fifth on a defensive miscue by the Railsplitters catcher to extend the Newberry lead to 6-1. A pair of moonshots by LMU in the top of sixth pulled them back to within two runs in the contest, but Newberry was able to shut them down the rest of the way and the add another pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to further extend their advantage and secure the 8-4 win and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Wolves return to the field later this week as they take on the Spartans of the University of Tampa in a three-game series between Thursday and Friday this week.