Baseball sweeps doubleheader to take series against Augusta

Baseball sweeps doubleheader to take series against Augusta

GREENWOOD – The Lander baseball team scored 27 runs on the day and held Augusta to four hits in the final game of the weekend as the Bearcats won both contests at Dolny Stadium to take their second straight Peach Belt Conference series. 

Lander (12-20, 6-12 PBC) defeated the Jaguars (10-24, 7-17 PBC) 19-12 and 8-3. 

"To win a doubleheader is really, really hard, no matter who you're playing," said head coach Jason Burke. "I thought our guys did a great job of battling. The offense did a phenomenal job and when you play 18 innings and only use four arms, that's pretty incredible."

Lander jumped in front in the bottom of the first of game one as Mike Fitschen led off with a single and Colton Yeager singled to put two runners aboard. Carson Jones singled home Fitschen, Yeager scored on a groundout from Nathan Schreckengost and Zach Moore brought home Jones with a single to put the Bearcats up 3-0. 

The Bearcats tacked on two more runs in the second inning on an RBI single from Yeager and a double from Jones that plated Vincent Addona before Augusta got on the board to trim Lander's lead to 5-1. 

Lander exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the third as the Bearcats loaded the bases with one out. Fitschen singled home Conner Davis and Addona reach on a error, allowing Alex Conaway to score. Yeager followed with a two-run single. Two more errors brought in three Lander runs before Davis drove in Nathan Schreckengost to give the Bearcats a 13-1 advantage. 

Augusta answered with three runs in the fourth and another in the fifth, but a Zack Moore RBI single pushed Lander's lead to 14-5 entering the sixth inning. 

The Bearcats responded to a Jaguar run in the top of the sixth with a five-spot in the bottom of the inning as Yeager drove in two with a single and Moore launched a three-run homer to give Lander a 19-6 lead. 

Augusta plated six runs over the final three innings, but Ryan Flores finished off the Jaguars to force a series-deciding game three. 

Joseph Whitt (1-1) picked up the win, tossing 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and two walks. Augusta's Jay Pendley (4-3) took the loss, surrendering five runs on seven hits in 1.1 innings. 

Luke Johnson put the Bearcats in front in game two, drawing a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the second, but the Jaguars struck back in the top of the third for three runs. 

Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Bailey Connell roped a triple into right field to drive home Davis and Kyle Jenkins to knot the score at 3-3. Fitschen followed with an RBI single to give Lander a 4-3 lead. 

Needing insurance runs in the bottom of the eight, Johnson smashed the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall to push Lander's lead to 5-3. After the Bearcats put runners on second and third later in the inning, Moore laced a single up the middle to plate Jones and Yeager.

Dealing with an 8-3 lead, Robbie Hoyt retired the Jaguars in the top of the ninth to give Lander its fifth win in its last six PBC contests. 

Chris Sheehan (2-4) tossed 7.0 big innings for the Bearcats, allowing just one earned run on three hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Hoyt picked up his third save of the season after allowing a single hit in 2.0 innings of relief. David Hagelston (0-1) was tagged with the loss for Augusta after giving up three runs on four hits in just 0.1 innings. 

The Bearcats host Lenoir-Rhyne on Tuesday night at Dolny Stadium for a 6:00 p.m. game.