March 23, 2012

No. 2 Lander baseball falls to No. 10 USC Aiken, 10-6

AIKEN - The No. 2 Lander baseball team saw its nine-game winning streak come to an end Friday night when the Bearcats lost to No. 10 USC Aiken, 10-6, in a Peach Belt Conference contest at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.

USC Aiken improves to 21-7 overall and 11-6 in the PBC, while Lander moves to 22-7, 10-3. The two teams will complete the three-game PBC series on Saturday with a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m.

The Pacers' Kelly Holt (3-3) earned the win on the mound after striking out eight, walking one and allowing four earned runs on five hits in six innings pitched.

The Bearcats' Chris Thomas (4-1) took the loss, striking out four, walking three and allowing three earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings pitched.

Lander claimed a 4-0 lead in the first inning when Weston Lawing's RBI single plated AJ Nunziato, and Jordan Owens' three-run homer scored Lawing and Patrick Grady.

The Pacers cut the lead to 4-2 in the third on Nick Aranas' two run homer, then tied the game at 4-all in the fourth on two unearned runs following Stephen Carmon's RBI single and Josh Miller's RBI double.

USCA took a 6-4 advantage in the sixth when Carmon's RBI single pushed Ty Barkell across the plate and Stephen Bellantoni stole home, then stretched the lead to 9-4 in the seventh on when Will Tankersley stroked an RBI double down the left field line, Tyler Buordo crossed the plate on a wild pitch and Tankersley went home on a pick off at first base.

Lawing scored on a bases-loaded walk to cut the Pacers' lead to 9-5 in the eighth.

The Pacers went up 10-5 in the eighth when Bellantoni stole third, then scored on a Lander error.

The Bearcats rallied to cut the lead to 10-6 in the ninth when Owen's sacrifice fly plated Nunziato.

For Lander, Lawing batted 3-for-5.

For the Pacers, Carmon, Aranas, Bourdo and Barkell had two hits each.