GREENWOOD – The No. 2-ranked Lander baseball team produced its largest scoring output of the season Wednesday afternoon when the Bearcats pounded out 22 hits and demolished Winston-Salem State University, 27-8, in a non-conference game at Dolny Stadium. The team missed tying the school record for runs in game by two.
Lander improves to 29-5 overall, while Winston-Salem drops to 26-13. The Bearcats' Connor Lewis stretched his Lander single-season home run record to 14.
Ryan Jones (6-0) earned the victory on the mound, striking out four, walking one and allowing six earned runs on nine hits in five innings.
The Rams' Aaron Hatch (4-3) took the loss, walking five and allowing 10 earned runs on five hits.
Winston-Salem took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Ray Crawford's solo home run over the right field fence.
Lander eased out to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning on a pair of RBI doubles by Connor Lewis and Thomas Berry that plated Erik Lunde and Patrick Grady. Lewis later scored on Weston Lawing's groundout.
Hatch and Colby Keene had back-to-back homeruns for the Rams to tie the score at 3-3 in the second inning.
Lander exploded for eight runs in the second inning to take an 11-3 lead. Thomas Bess drove in Colby Painter, Grady doubled in Bess, Lunde scored on a bases-loaded walk, Lawing had a two-run double that plated Berry and Lewis, Graham Ramos' sacrifice fly sent Berry home, and Painter hit a two-run homer.
The Rams came back with one run in the third on Alex Grubb's sacrifice fly, but Lander added four more runs in the bottom of the inning on Lewis' two-run homer, Berry's solo shot and Grady's RBI double.
The Bearcats manufactured four more runs in the fourth to increase their lead to 19-4. Lewis had a two-RBI double, Austin Dunn an RBI double and Berry singled in Lewis.
Winston-Salem netted two runs in the fifth on Hatch's two RBI double, but Lander countered in the sixth with Grady's RBI single to make it 20-6.
The Rams mustered up two more runs in the seventh on Keene's two-run homer. Lander retaliated with three runs in the bottom of the inning when Lunde and Wilson had ground out RBIs and Aaron Poole drove in Bess.
Lander finalized the scoring in the eighth on Tyler Wilson's two RBI triple, Bess' RBI double and Lunde's RBI single.
For Lander, Lunde, Grady, Lewis and Lawing had three hits each, while Berry, Painter and Bess had two apiece.
For Winston-Salem, Crawford and Hatch had three hits each.