Rogers pitches shutout, seniors honored as LU sweeps

Lander's baseball team celebrates with Colton Rogers after his complete-game shutout against UNC Pembroke on Sunday. (Photo by Dylan Seely)
Lander's baseball team celebrates with Colton Rogers after his complete-game shutout against UNC Pembroke on Sunday. (Photo by Dylan Seely)

GREENWOOD – Colton Rogers pitched a five-hit shutout and seniors John Mangum and Zach Daly homered, leading the nationally-ranked Lander Bearcats to a 13-0 victory and a Peach Belt Conference sweep over UNC Pembroke on Senior Day Sunday at Dolny Stadium.

Lander, which is No. 10 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll and 11th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's rankings, improves to 35-11 overall and completed its PBC regular season at 22-8.

UNCP dropped to 24-18, 10-14.

The Bearcats are in a tight battle for the Peach Belt regular season title. USC Aiken is 19-8 in the league, Columbus State is 18-6, and Augusta University 16-8 with all three having more PBC games left on their schedules.

Lander honored its nine seniors who were playing their final regular season weekend home games: Daly, Mangum, Thomas Berry, Cam Hokanson, Will Jones, Taylor Kellner, Colby Lusignan, Andrew Reardon and Matt White.

On the mound, this senior class (going into Sunday's game) has a combined record of 21-12 with five saves, with 258 strikeouts in 265.2 innings. Offensively, the senior class has a combined 2,245 at-bats, 724 hits, 579 runs, 115 home runs, 543 RBI, 355 walks, 118 hit by pitches, a .322 batting average and .440 on-base percentage.

Rogers was the winning pitcher, improving to 7-1 on the season. Despite not knowing that he was going to start until an hour before the game, Rogers allowed multiple hitters to reach base in only one inning. He struck out five and walked no one. It was his first complete game.

Daniel Batts (3-1) took the loss for UNC Pembroke.

Lander had 18 hits in the game with everyone in the lineup collecting at least one hit, and the seniors combined for 13 hits, two doubles, two homers and 11 RBI.

The Bearcats jumped ahead with four big first-inning runs. Daly smacked a single through the middle, advanced to second when Lusignan's hit was lost in the sun for a single, and scored on Berry's single to center. Mangum followed with a three-run homer over the left-field fence, his ninth of the season.

Lander increased its lead to 5-0 in the second when Jones singled to left, moved to second on White's bunt, to third on Daly's fly out to deep center, and scored on a wild pitch.

The Bearcats made it 7-0 in the third when Alex Conaway and Mason Dodd singled, advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, and scored on White's two RBI single to left.

Lander upped its lead to 9-0 in the fifth when Dodd singled, Jones was hit by a pitch, White drove in one run with a ground out to third, and Lusignan singled home the next run.

The Bearcats made it 10-0 in the seventh when Kellner doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on another wild pitch.

In the eighth, Dodd reached on an error and scored on a double by Jones. Daly followed with a two-run homer, increasing Lander's lead to 13-0. It was Daly's 18th homer of the season and he leads the nation with 64 RBI.

Leading hitters for the Bearcats were Dodd, 3-for-5 with three runs; Lusignan and Berry, 3-for-5; Jones, 2-for-4 with two runs scored; Conaway, 2-for-4; Daly, 2-for-6 with a homer, two runs and two RBI; Mangum, 1-for-3 with a homer and three RBI; and White, 1-for-4 with three RBI.

Roberto Rivera and Nick Debo had two hits apiece to lead Pembroke.