GREENWOOD – Mars Hill University scored three runs in the seventh inning to break a tie, outlasting the Lander Bearcats 5-2 Saturday afternoon in a game that featured 30 strikeouts and an almost two-hour weather delay.
The series will conclude Sunday with a double-header at Dolny Stadium. The teams were scheduled to play a double-header Saturday but due to the weather delay, they will play two on Sunday starting at 1 p.m.
Mars Hill improved to 7-2 while Lander fell to 2-7.
The game was delayed by rain at the start of the fourth inning at 3:03 p.m. and resumed at 4:50.
Four Bearcats pitchers struck out 16 Mars Hill batters. The two pitchers for the Lions combined for 14 strikeouts.
Mars Hill tied it in the top of the second when Matt Honeycutt doubled and scored on Shomarii Thomas's double.
The Bearcats jumped ahead 2-1 in the fourth when Nathan Schreckengost beat out an infield single, was safe at second on Alex Conaway's fielder's choice as the second baseman dropped the throw, stopped at third when Zach Giczewski walked, and scored when Chuck Lawing was hit by a pitch.
The Lions tied it in the top of the fifth when Thomas walked, moved to second on a single by Lance Edwards, and scored when Daniel Vitello reached on an error.
Mars Hill grabbed a 5-2 lead in the top of the seventh when Christian Stampler was hit by a pitch with the bases load and Honeycutt followed with a two-run single.
Lander starting pitcher JD Cook worked five innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out eight.
Tripper Ergle took the loss in relief for the Bearcats, while Robbie Hoyt and Marshall Thompson finished up. Ergle struck out two in 1.2 innings, Hoyt four in 1.1 innings, and Thompson two more in his one inning of work.
Mars Hill starting pitcher Alec Bivens allowed two runs on three hits in six innings, walking one and striking out nine. Jared Mathewson worked the final three innings for the save. Mathewson struck out five.
Honeycutt was the Lions' leading hitter, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Vitello was also 2-for-4 while Thomas went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Lander was held to just five hits with Yeager and Lawing each collecting one hit and one RBI. Yeager extended his hitting streak to seven games.