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USC Aiken hits four homers, beats Lander 8-3

USC Aiken hits four homers, beats Lander 8-3

GREENWOOD – USC Aiken scored five unearned runs and pounded four home runs, beating Peach Belt Conference rival Lander 8-3 Sunday afternoon at Dolny Stadium.

The Pacers won the three-game series after splitting Saturday's double-header, improving to 9-5 overall and 2-4 in the PBC.

The Bearcats fell to 6-7, 1-5.

Trevor Hutto (3-0) was the winning pitcher for Aiken, allowing one run on six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out no one. Cole Lee, Nick Yobbi, and Sam Daniel each pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the Pacers while James Lynch allowed two runs in the ninth.

Kyle Boraski (1-1) took the loss for Lander, allowing five runs, but none earned, on seven hits in 3.2 innings, striking out three and walking three. Boraski hasn't allowed an earned run in three starts this season.

Taylor Alvarez allowed two runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of relief for the Bearcats, Cam Hokanson gave up one run in two innings while striking out five in his first appearance of the season, and Erik Holton tossed an inning of scoreless relief.

Lander took a 1-0 lead in the third when Taylor Kellner singled to center, stopped at second when Matt White walked, moved to third as Zach Giczewski bunted the runners over, and scored on Thomas Berry's sacrifice fly to deep left.

Aiken scored five, two-out unearned runs in the top of the fourth. The inning started promising for the Bearcats as Ty Barkell, who singled, was caught stealing as TJ Costen struck out. But Chaz Pal reached on an error, keeping the inning alive. Matt Bosse singled, Robert Ard hit an RBI single, and Rob Youngblood launched a three-run homer over the left-field fence. It was Youngblood's first homer of the season. Kody Belcher reached on an error, Sean Miller hit an infield single, and Tyler Moore smacked an RBI single for a 5-1 lead.

Lander loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth when Colby Painter was hit by a pitch, Aaron Poole walked and Will Jones singled. But Kellner's apparent sacrifice fly was negated because right fielder Moore gunned down Jones as he tagged and tried to advance to second.

Belcher opened the top of the sixth with his second homer of the season, a blast over the center field fence. It was Aiken's first earned run of the game. The next two Pacers hitters reached on Miller's double and Moore's bunt single. But Poole threw a runner out at the plate on a grounder to third and the Bearcats turned a double play to end the inning.

Lander threatened in the top of the sixth after Weston Lawing and Painter singled. But Berry hit a grounder to third where Pal tagged Lawing and threw to first for the double play.

Pal led off the top of the seventh with his first homer of the season, a shot over the left-field fence. Bosse followed with a blast well over the wall in left, his third of the year.

The Bearcats dented the scoreboard in the ninth when Chris Hyatt singled and Poole smashed a two-run homer over the fence in left center. It was his first home run of the season and gave him five RBI in the series.

Ard, Bosse, Miller and Moore paced Aiken with two hits apiece while Youngblood led the Pacers in RBI with three.

Painter and White led Lander with two hits apiece.