Lander baseball downs Erskine for 11th straight time

Lander's Weston Lawing (middle), who was making his first start in 11 games due to a severe shoulder injury, celebrates after hitting a first-inning, lead off home run Tuesday against Erskine. (Photo by Bob Stoner)
Lander's Weston Lawing (middle), who was making his first start in 11 games due to a severe shoulder injury, celebrates after hitting a first-inning, lead off home run Tuesday against Erskine. (Photo by Bob Stoner)

GREENWOOD - Weston Lawing belted a leadoff home run in his first start in 11 games and Matt White went 4-for-4 Tuesday night to lead the Lander baseball team to a 12-6 upset over No. 16 Erskine in a non-conference game at Dolny Stadium.

Lander, which downed the Flying Fleet, 11-8, on March 24 when the Fleet were ranked No. 3, improves to 16-19 overall, while Erskine drops to 27-6. The victory was the 11th straight for Lander over the Fleet.

Lawing, who is recovering from a severe shoulder injury, sent the first pitch over the right field wall to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

The Bearcats then erupted for four runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead when Alex Conaway drove in White with a triple down the right field line, and followed him home on an error; and Thomas Berry and Colby Lusignan stroked back-to-back RBI singles that plated Lawing and Taylor Kellner.

Lander stretched the lead to 6-0 in the fourth on Berry's sacrifice fly that advanced Kellner across the plate.

Erskine trimmed the margin to 6-4 in the fifth on Joey Wilson's two-run shot over the left field fence.

But Lander countered with two more runs in the bottom of the inning as Chris Hyatt scored from third on a 5-4-3 double-play and Colby Painter doubled in White.

Not to be outdone, Erskine answered in the sixth with two runs to make in 8-4 when Sam Cothran drove in Destin Nichols, and Andrew Kozak's sacrifice fly sent Cothran home.

The Bearcats exploded for four more runs in the sixth to go up 12-4 after Hyatt drove in Lusignan, Hyatt went home on a balk, and Conaway and White scored on an Erskine fielding error.

The Fleet came right back and added two runs in the seventh when Wilson scored on a double play and Nichols homered to centerfield.

Lander's JD Waite (1-0) was awarded the win, striking out one, walking one and allowing three earned runs on seven hits in five innings.

Erskine's Nic Levy (0-1) took the loss after striking out two, walking one and allowing four earned runs on six hits in 1.2 innings.

Painter and Hyatt had two hits apiece for Lander.