GREENWOOD – The undefeated No. 20-ranked Lander baseball team scored nine runs in the first inning and pounded out 14 hits for the game Wednesday afternoon en route to a 17-2 non-conference victory over Claflin University at Dolny Stadium.
The Bearcats improve to 4-0 overall, while the Panthers start the season at 0-1.
Lander's Ryan Jones (1-0) earned the victory on the mound after striking out two, walking three and allowing two earned runs on four hits in five innings.
Claflin's Darius Boykin (0-1) suffered the loss, walking one and allowing five earned runs on eight hits in one inning of work.
Lander jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first inning. Erik Lunde led off with his first homerun of the season, Patrick Grady singled and later scored on a throwing error, Graham Ramos singled in Weston Lawing and Connor Lewis, Thomas Berry sent Ramos home with a double, Colby Painter drove in Berry, Lewis singled in Thomas Bess and Lunde, and Lawing singled in Grady.
The Bearcats stretched the lead to 10-0 in the second after Berry doubled and later went home on a wild pitch.
In the third, Grady tripled to left field then pinch runner Jake Bolena scored on Lawing's sacrifice fly to right field to make it 11-0.
Claflin cut the Lander advantage to 11-2 in the fourth after Sexto Guerrero and Seth Mellen had back-to-back sacrifice flies.
For the Bearcats, Berry went 3-for-3, while Grady batted 2-for-2 and Lewis 2-for-4.
Rashad Bivens batted 2-for-4 for the Panthers.