2 Former Red Devils Add Conference Championship to Their Resumes
Newberry College Baseball clinched SAC regular season title beating Lincoln Memorial in second game 8-0 – this game clinched title then they played third game and won, 21-5 -- Peyton Spangler (senior) and Aaron Copeland, Clinton High School alums, are on the team.
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME NEWBERRY has ever won the SAC Baseball title.
Championship Game article:
HARROGATE, Tenn. – For such a watershed moment in Newberry Baseball history, the final moments seemed a bit, well, anticlimactic.
It was Josh Bookbinder's fault. The freshman left no room for doubt.
Bookbinder's complete-game, three-hit shutout and Newberry's relentless offense led to an 8-0 win in Game Two of Friday's doubleheader, clinching third-ranked Newberry's first-ever South Atlantic Conference regular season championship.
Bookbinder allowed one runner to advance past first base, needed the defense to turn only one double play, and set down the side in order on four occasions. All this was made more impressive by the fact that the game was delayed 52 minutes by lightning and torrential rain—after Bookbinder had already thrown an inning.
"To bounce back and have a freshman on the mound in a seven-inning game, said head coach Russell Triplett, "Bookbinder was unbelievable. Threw an inning, had a long delay, and then came back and had energy throughout.
"He's a competitor. I was a little worried about the delay, but he was locked in and ready to go. He wants to throw anytime. For a freshman to do what he's done shows what kind of composure he has, his makeup, his toughness. He certainly showed that against a really good hitting team."
While the Railsplitters (32-14, 18-5 SAC) struggled to find their offense against Bookbinder, Newberry's (37-12, 20-3 SAC) bats heated up in the second inning and stayed warm throughout.
Seven of Newberry's eight runs came with two outs, including all six runs through the first four frames. In the second, it was Tony Matos's two-out single up the middle and Peyton Spangler's walk that set the table for Ian Clements' two-run double.
In the third, Tyler Ackard and Colin Allman drew back-to-back walks with two outs before Luke Orr and Matos hit consecutive singles. In the fourth, Ackard's two-out, two-strike single scored Clements and Dalton Lansdowne.
Overall, Newberry hit .417 (5-for-12) and had six RBI with two outs. The Wolves' plate approach was critical with the all-turf playing surface at Lamar Hennon Field—the slick conditions and lack of dirt on the infield largely neutralized Newberry's propensity to steal bases and sacrifice runners over.
Orr and Matos led the Wolves with two hits apiece, while Clements contributed three RBI. Seven Wolves scored at least a run.
Needing a series sweep to win the SAC title by a game over Newberry, the Railsplitters took a 5-2 decision in Game One. Danton Hyman was spectacular in the first game, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored at the plate while recording six putouts in center, including a diving catch to end the sixth. Lansdowne also had a pair of hits in the first contest. Newberry was down 5-0 heading into the ninth inning before the top of the order broke through against Ethan Elliot. A single by Hyman followed by a Zane Tarrance double started the rally before Tyler White's sacrifice fly brought home the first run of the game.
Colin Allman roped a double deep into the gap in left center to drive in Tarrance and spell the end of the day for Elliot, but a pair of flyouts ended the game and gave Lincoln Memorial's Devin Morris his seventh save of the season.
The Railsplitters scored single runs in the second and third innings before breaking through in the fifth with three runs on five hits. Ryan Harbin entered with the bases loaded and nobody out but got a called third strike to begin the frame. He escaped further damage with a fielder's choice to third base and a popup to short to keep the deficit to five runs.
HARROGATE, Tenn . – The newly-minted South Atlantic Conference champions scored an impressive win in their regular season finale, dodging raindrops with a 21-5 victory at Lincoln Memorial to earn their 21st conference victory of the season.
The win clinched the series for the third-ranked Wolves (38-12, 21-3 SAC) and made Newberry 8-for-8 on SAC weekends this season. The Wolves had wrapped up their first-ever regular season conference title a day earlier, with Lincoln Memorial (32-15, 18-6 SAC) needing a series sweep to score a regular season championship for the first time.
Newberry is the first 20-game winner in the SAC since Catawba went 23-6 in 2015, while its .875 winning percentage ranks fourth in league history behind Catawba in 1992 (21-0), Wingate in 1995 (20-1), and Tusculum in 2012 (.889). The Wolves' 21 runs scored were its most against a league opponent since a 24-run outburst against the Railsplitters in 2013.
The game was never in doubt thanks to Newberry's relentless offense that exploded for six runs in the first inning, chasing Railsplitters' starter Eli Wright after four had crossed the plate with just one out. The Wolves took the 6-0 lead on just three hits by working three walks, taking advantage of an error, and strategically inducing a rundown to score a runner from third.
Newberry added a run in the second after a leadoff double by Danton Hyman, who was moved to third on a Zane Tarrance sacrifice bunt and scored on Tyler Ackard's ground ball to second base. A pair of unearned runs scored in the third on Dalton Lansdowne's two-out single through the left side. Three more crossed the plate in the fifth courtesy of two hits, a sacrifice fly, and a pair of errors, with five more coming around to score in the sixth and four in the ninth.
Ian Clements led the Wolves offensively with three hits, including a double, to go with two runs scored and two RBI, with Hyman also recording three hits to go along with two runs scored and an RBI. Tony Matos recorded his second consecutive two-hit game and scored four times, while Luke Orr had a pair of hits and two RBI
Tomas Sorcia, Jr. improved to 7-0 on the season with six strong innings of work. He gave up four runs by scattering five hits and four walks while recording three strikeouts. Quinton Driggers worked the final three frames for a nontraditional save, his sixth of the season to go with a 7-0 record.
Newberry will enter the 2019 Pilot/Flying J SAC Baseball Championship as the top-seeded team. The Wolves will learn their potential opponents for the 12:00 p.m. Friday start when tournament seeding is finalized on Monday.