AIKEN – The No. 2-ranked Lander baseball team scored three runs in the sixth inning Friday night to pull away from No 14 USC Aiken and claim an 8-3 Peach Belt Conference victory in game one of their three-game series at Robert Hernandez Stadium. The two teams will finish the series with a 4 p.m. game on Saturday and a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday.
The Bearcats improve to 30-5 overall and 17-5 in the PBC, while the Pacers fall to 25-9, 12-7.
Lander's Dylan Wolchik (7-1) earned the win on the mound after striking out six, walking two and allowing three earned runs on nine hits in the complete nine innings.
USCA's Derek Beasley (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season, striking out nine, walking two and allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits in 7.1 innings.
The Pacers took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on TJ Costen's three-run home run.
Lander finalized the scoring with one run each in the seventh and eighth innings. Grady smacked a lead off homer in the seventh inning and Painter went home on Bess' sacrifice fly in the eighth.
For Lander, Painter had three hits and Grady two.