NCAA Baseball: Byrd, Wilson leads Young Harris past No. 9 Newberry 5-1

NCAA Baseball: Byrd, Wilson leads Young Harris past No. 9 Newberry 5-1

NEWBERRY, S.C. | T.J. Byrd drove in three runs and Drew Wilson allowed just one run through six innings as Young Harris College defeated No. 9-ranked Newberry College 5-1 in the second round of the NCAA Division II Baseball Southeast Regional No. 2 Friday (May 17) afternoon in front of 803 fans at the Smith Road Complex.

The Mountain Lions, who recorded their first-ever NCAA tournament win in program history, improved to 36-20, while the Wolves fell to 41-15. The 36 wins for Young Harris also tied a program record for wins in a season (NCAA era). The Mountain Lions won 36 games in 2012. Young Harris will face No. 11-ranked Catawba College Saturday (May 18) at 3:30 p.m. YHC will need to defeat the Indians twice Saturday (May 18) to capture the regional title.

The Mountain Lions, who have scored 20 runs in the first three innings of their past five games, jumped on Newberry starter Charlie Fessler (6-6) for two runs in the bottom of the first. Tucker Greer led off with a walk and Byrd smacked a double off the left field wall to score Greer. Zavier Lushington with a single up the middle to give Young Harris a 2-0 lead.

Byrd made it 3-0 an inning later. Brett Hawkins led off the second with a walk and later scored on Byrd's single through the left side.

Newberry got a run back in the fifth on an infield single, but the Mountain Lions responded with two runs in the sixth inning to open up a 5-1 lead. Young Harris got singles from Cole Jackson, Corley Reynolds and Brett Graczyk before Greer singled thorough the right side to score Jackson. Byrd followed with a sacrifice fly to center.

Wilson improved to 6-4 as he scattered eight hits over 6.1 innings of work with two strikeouts. McLain Harris added 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to preserve the win. The Mountain Lion defense was also stellar as they turned three double plays. 

Greer and Byrd led the Mountain Lions with two hits each.