GREENWOOD – Connor Lewis and Graham Ramos each reached the 50-RBI plateau on the season with run-scoring hits, leading the No. 3 Lander Bearcats to a 10-5 victory over 12th ranked Georgia College in a Peach Belt Conference game Saturday afternoon at Dolny Stadium.
After rallying from a 10-2 deficit to win the PBC series opener in extra innings Friday night, the Bearcats did not need such dramatics Saturday as they broke a 4-all tie with five runs in the fourth.
Lander improved to 34-6 overall and 20-6 in the Peach Belt. The Bobcats fell to 26-10 overall and 13-8 in the PBC.
The Bearcats will attempt to complete the three-game sweep Sunday at 1 o'clock at Dolny Stadium.
Lander scored three runs in the bottom of the first. Erik Lunde hit a leadoff single and scored on Lewis's double off the chain link fence in deep right, giving the first baseman 50 RBI on the season. Weston Lawing walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Ramos followed with a two-run single, plating Lewis and Lawing for a 3-0 lead.
Georgia College scored three in the top of the second to tie the game. Taylor Hinshaw was hit by a pitch, stopped at third on Steve Hazel's double to deep right, and scored on Brandon Benson's single. Ryan Sabalaskey lifted a sacrifice fly, and Rob Hogenkamp hit a game-tying single off Bearcats starting pitcher Taylor Alvarez's glove.
The Bobcats tied the game at 4-all in the top of the third when Daniel Bick hit a leadoff triple and scored on Jake Sandlin's single.
The Bearcats exploded for five runs on five hits in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 9-4 lead. Tyler Wilson started the rally with a bunt single down the third-base line, Grady hit an RBI single, Lawing blasted a two-run double to deep right center, Ramos hit a run-scoring single up the middle for his 50th RBI of the season, and Colby Painter added an RBI double. It was Painter's 48th RBI of the season.
Georgia College threatened in the top of the fifth, putting runners on second and third with one out off reliever Cam Hokanson including Hazel's second double of the game. But Lander reliever Matt Thorpe got out of the jam with a strikeout and grounder to shortstop.
Bearcats shortstop Lunde made a diving stop in the hole on the third base side to save a run for the final out in the top of the sixth.
Grady drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth, pushing Lander's lead to 10-4.
Clay Ardeeser hit a leadoff homer for Georgia College in the ninth.
Lander starting pitcher Alvarez allowed four runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings, hitting two batters, striking out one, and walking no one. Hokanson (1-1) relieved Alvarez in the third and was credited with his first victory of the season, allowing no runs on three hits, a walk and strikeout in two innings. Thorpe pitched two innings of scoreless relief and Jay Robinson followed with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Tyler Broome allowed one run in the ninth.
Bobcats starting pitcher Justin Blue (4-3) took the loss, allowing six runs on six hits in 3.1 innings of work, striking out three, walking two, and hitting two batters. Stewart Rich allowed three runs on three hits in only one-third of an inning of relief. Dallas Draviczki and Josh Pape finished up for Georgia College.
Leading hitters for Lander were Grady, 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI; Ramos, 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI; and Lawing, 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.
Ardeeser paced the Bobcats, going 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI. Hazel also went 3-for-5, with three doubles. Hogenkamp, Bick and Benson had two hits apiece as Georgia College out-hit the Bearcats 14-10.