GREENWOOD – Zach Daly and John Mangum homered and Harper Grier turned in a long relief appearance, leading the Lander Bearcats to a 10-7 Peach Belt Conference win over Augusta University Saturday night at Dolny Stadium. It was Lander's 11th consecutive victory.
Lander won the PBC series, improving to 19-5 overall and 11-3 in the conference. The Jaguars fell to 13-9, 5-3.
The teams will play the final game of the series Sunday at 1 o'clock at Dolny Stadium. The Bearcats won Friday's opener, 10-4.
Augusta took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Nick Rau walked, moved to second on Jim Wagner's walk, advanced to third on Clint Hardy's ground out, and scored on Hunter Boose's sacrifice fly to center.
The Bearcats took a 4-1 lead in an eventful bottom of the first. Matt White reached on an error, Daly singled to right, and White scored when Colby Lusignan was credited with a ground rule double on a line drive off Jaguars pitcher Joey Stillwell's shin that rolled to the Lander dugout. Stillwell crumpled to the ground and then warmed up but could not continue. He was replaced by Aron Chick. Daly scored on Thomas Berry's grounder to short, Mangum walked, Taylor Kellner reached on catcher's interference, and Mason Dodd delivered a two-run single.
Augusta pulled within 4-3 in the top of the second on RBI singles by Tyler Roberts and Jim Wagner, knocking out Lander starter Sam Linn. The inning could have been more productive had it not been for a 1-4-3 double play turned by second baseman Will Jones who tagged one runner after grabbing the deflection off pitcher Grier's glove and threw to first.
The Bearcats increased their lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the second when White tripled when his sinking liner got past diving right fielder Drew Taylor and Daly followed with his eighth homer of the season, a blast over the fence in center.
The Jaguars pulled within 6-4 in the top of the third when Taylor reached on an infield single, stopped at second on Connor Gilbert's walk, advanced to third on Cole Thompson's sacrifice bunt, and scored on Gage Patton's sacrifice fly to left.
Mangum's line drive homer to left upped Lander's lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth. Like Daly, it was Mangum's eighth homer of the season.
Augusta tied the game at 7-all with three runs in the top of the fifth. Gilbert singled and Thompson blasted a two-run homer to left, his second of the season. Patton singled, stopped at second on a single by Roberts, and scored on an errant throw past first as the Bearcats failed to complete a double play.
Lander answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth, regaining the lead at 10-7. Dodd singled, stopped at second on White's single, moved to third when Daly was hit by a pitch, and scored on Lusignan's ground out to first. Berry followed with a two-run single to left.
Defense saved the Bearcats in the sixth and seventh innings. Shortstop White started a double play with a diving stop in the sixth, and center fielder Daly charged in and made a diving catch with two on and two out in the seventh.
Augusta loaded the bases in the top of the eighth but Brandon White entered with two out and ended the threat by getting Thompson to ground out to short. White closed the game out in the ninth, striking out two in the inning.
Grier (4-0) worked six innings of relief, allowing nine hits and four runs, three earned. White collected his seventh save.
Leading hitters for Lander included White, 2-for-3 with three runs scored; Daly, 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBI and three runs; Mangum, 2-for-3 with a homer and two runs; and Dodd, 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Thompson and Roberts had two hits apiece for the Jaguars.