NEWBERRY — The Newberry High School baseball teams opened regional play at Mike Ware Field on Friday with a winning 12-7 sweep of Saluda High that evening.
The Junior Varsity Bulldogs went on an 8-5 run in the final three innings of play.
Newberry winning pitcher Ben Blackmon got the nod to start the game and with his brother Alec behind home plate, they combined to allow five hits, strike out four and give up five walks in 2 1/3 innings of play before Trey Kinard would finish out the game to earn the save.
The Bulldogs’ biggest damage came in their half of the third inning as they saw five runs score off five hits and a walk.
Eight straight Newberry batters during this inning faced at least one teammate in scoring position.
Andrew Livingston was the only multiple hitter for Newberry as he got both a single and a double.
Justin Busby was walked twice before hitting a single while both Patrick Yoder and Kinard knocked in two Bulldogs with their lone hits.
Through the varsity Bulldogs’ first six innings, only twice did they send five batters to the plate as Saluda had a 6-0 advantage going into the home half of the seventh inning.
Jake Bickley and Hercules Etheredge led off the inning with consecutive singles as Bickley would be brought home from third several pitches later off Deuntrey Gallman’s single.
In the previous night’s game against Clinton, Gallman also had one plate appearance with a walk-off single in the seventh inning for Newberry’s then fourth straight victory of the season.
Tysheen Nance took the first pitch he saw to centerfield for a double as it was suddenly a 6-to-2 game with runners at second and third with no outs.
After striking out in the first, Cannon Griffith walked in the third before hitting a double in the fifth.
On his last plate appearance of the night, Griffith connected again as he took the first pitch he saw to center field for a two RBI single.
After a pitching change, Jack Huggins never saw a strike in his walk before Chad Davis hit into a double play.
Needing at least two runs with two outs lit up on the scoreboard, Jared Harmon knocked in Griffith as he reached on an infield error. Harmon got into scoring position to potentially tie the game with a steal of second.
Parker Little tied the game up after his 2-2 single to left field brought home Harmon.
Griffith was brought in to pitch the eighth inning.
With Tigers at the corners, Saluda attempted a double steal. Griffith had the Saluda runner at first scrambling for his life but instead threw the ball to catcher Cal Lever.
The Tiger beat the tag to take a 7-6 lead going onto the home half of the eighth.
Etheredge reached on an infield error on the first pitch he saw as he gave way to courtesy runner Devin Harmon.
Lever’s sacrifice bunt moved Harmon down to second.
Facing on 0-1 pitch in his only plate appearance, Tysheen Nance took a double to left field, which brought home Harmon to tie the game.
Never slowing down, Nance surprised the Saluda players by taking off to third, sliding into the base just ahead of the throw.
In a seldom seen rule, the throw flew into the Saluda dugout giving Nance an automatic one base advancement to home for the victory.
Newberry will travel to Abbeville on Tuesday and will return home Friday to play host to Ninety Six.