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Unbeaten Lander baseball routs Claflin, 17-2

Lander's Ryan Jones earned his first win of the season Wednesday afternoon against Claflin. (Photo by Andrew Gordon)
Lander's Ryan Jones earned his first win of the season Wednesday afternoon against Claflin. (Photo by Andrew Gordon)

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.

Berry's two-RBI single in the fifth extended the Lander lead to 13-2, then the Bearcats added four more runs in the seventh on a Austin Dunn's sacrifice fly and Tyler Wilson's three-run homer.

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.