Lenoir-Rhyne (10-29, 6-15) and Newberry (15-22, 9-12) split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Smith Road Complex. L-R prevailed in the first game by a 7-6 score while Newberry won the second contest, 7-6. Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore second baseman Mike Gasque (Mebane, N.C.) finished
with three hits and two runs batted in as L-R held off a late Newberry rally to win. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Bears.
Trailing 7-3, the Wolves scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth but left two runners on base when the contest ended.
The Bears fell behind by a 1-0 score but took the lead for good with consecutive run-scoring doubles by junior first baseman Colton Hansley (Asheville, N.C.) and junior outfielder Rai Robinson (Kings Mountain, N.C.) in the third inning.
Junior shortstop Dalton Hall (Hickory, N.C.) and Gasque each drove in a run with RBI singles in the top of the ninth to increase Lenoir-Rhyne's margin to 7-3 before Newberry plated three runs in the bottom of the frame.
The Wolves' Kevin Rufus (Andrews, S.C.) hit a two-run double in the ninth and finished with three hits and three runs batted in but it wasn't enough.
L-R sophomore Jared Carroll (Bladenboro, N.C.) improved to 4-3 with the win and Hall added two hits and two RBI for the Bears.
Newberry's Mario Rojas (Miami, Fla.) also fell to 4-3 with the setback while Lenoir-Rhyne senior Blake Edmonson (Newton, N.C.) was credited with his third save of the season.
In game two, Newberry rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win the contest with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to salvage the doubleheader split. The Wolves' Edmund Gravely (Rocky Mount, N.C.) ended the game with a pinch-hit, walk-off single with the bases loaded in the seventh.
L-R plated four runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a two-run triple by Robinson and a two-run single from freshman catcher Luke Baynham (Dunwoody, Ga.). Baynham led the Bears with three RBI in the contest.
Newberry tied the game at five with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning highlighted by a two-run single from Andy Vogel (Marietta, Ga.) before winning the contest in the seventh.
On the mound, Matt Chapman (Summerville, S.C.) improved to 2-0 after being credited with the victory for Newberry while L-R sophomore Aaron Bentley (Lenoir, N.C.) fell to 1-3 with the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to host Limestone on Wednesday at Bears Field in a single contest beginning at 6:00 p.m. Newberry, meanwhile, hosts Armstrong Atlantic State on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Dalton Hall, LRU Athletics