GREENWOOD – With a walkoff RBI single by Colton Yeager, the Lander Bearcats capped a five-run ninth inning comeback on Tuesday night at Dolny Stadium to defeat Newberry, 14-13, for their second straight victory. With the score tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, Yeager laced a single up the middle to plate Luke Johnson to give Lander the win.
With the victory, the Bearcats improve to 3-3 on the season. Newberry falls to 3-4 on the year.
"I'm just super proud of our guys," said head coach Jason Burke. "We talk every day in practice about fighting hard every single pitch to get a win. Nothing is easy in this region, that's a really good Newberry team we just beat. I told our guys before the game that this was going to be a dogfight and that they were going to have to want it more and I thought our guys did."
To begin their highest-scoring game of the season, Lander gave up a run in the first inning to trail 1-0 in the early moments of the game. The Bearcats answered in the bottom of the inning when Vincent Addonna and Yeager were able to turn a pair of errors by Newberry into runs, giving Lander a 2-1 lead after the first.
Starting pitcher Joseph Whitt rebounded in the second inning, sitting the Wolves down in order to maintain the lead.
An RBI double by Yeager in the second inning extended the lead to 3-1, while Alex Conaway drove in Mike Fitschen for Lander's fourth run of the night. A single by Carson Jones scored Nathan Schreckengost to push the lead to 5-1 in favor of the Bearcats.
In the third inning, Johnson singled for his first hit of his Lander career. The inning would feature another RBI for Yeager, driving in Bailey Connell to add a run for the Bearcats.
To enter the sixth inning, the Bearcats made a pitching change with a 6-2 lead as Harper Grier took to the mound. Grier would give up two runs as Newberry narrowed the lead to 6-4, but got out of a jam to end the inning.
Whitt allowed one earned run in 5.0 innings on four hits with three strikeouts in his first collegiate start.
The bottom of the sixth featured a Carson Jones home run over the left field wall to push the lead to 7-4.
In the seventh, the Wolves scored five runs to take a 9-7 lead. Johnson delivered for the Bearcats in the bottom of the inning with a deep bomb to bring the score to 9-8.
Newberry tacked on three more in the top of the eighth, while Lander managed only an Addona sacrifice fly to bring the score to 12-9.
To begin the ninth, Ryan Flores entered from the bullpen after a home run by Newberry. Flores got the Bearcats to the bottom of the inning facing a 13-9 deficit. A single by Conaway scored pinch runner Bo Richey to close the gap for the Bearcats. A sacrifice fly by Connell brought in Schreckengost to make the score 13-11. A pitching change by the Wolves was not enough to contain Lander's bats, as an RBI double by Addonna set up the Yeager walkoff.
Ryan Flores (1-0) was credited as the winning pitcher, tossing one shutout inning to earn his first career victory. John Mason Reynolds (0-1) took the loss for the Wolves.
Lander travels to Young Harris on Friday, as the Bearcats begin a weekend series with the Mountain Lions.