GREENWOOD – The Lander baseball team got an historic performance at the plate from Roury Glanton and a record-breaking home run from Carson Jones, but the Bearcats could not overcome an eight-run fourth inning from USC Aiken as the Bearcats fell 14-8 on Thursday night at Dolny Stadium.
Lander (16-29, 11-14 PBC) tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning as Glanton delivered his 12th home run of the season over the right field wall. The Bearcats followed with a three-run third, featuring an RBI double from Kyle Jenkins and RBI singles from Glanton and Bailey Connell, to move ahead 4-1.
However, USC Aiken (23-17, 13-9 PBC) struck for eight runs in the fourth to take a lead it would not relinquish. After Zack Moore cut the deficit to 9-5 with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, the Pacers plated three more runs in the fifth. Glanton doubled with one out in the bottom of the fifth, moving Mike Fitschen to third, who then scored on a Connell RBI groundout to make the score 12-6.
Two more Pacer runs in the seventh pushed the lead to 14-6. Leading off the bottom of the seventh and needing a triple for the cycle, Glanton smashed a ball to the centerfield wall and raced to third to record Lander's first cycle since Ian Harvey on Feb. 24, 2013, in a 15-0 win against Young Harris.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Carson Jones entered the game as a pinch-hitter and tattooed the second pitch he saw over the left field fence for his 30th career home run, breaking the record set by Thomas Berry from 2012-16. Lander added a final run on an error in the ninth.
Alex Moore (4-3) allowed nine runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 3.0 innings, while USCA's Mitch Spence (6-4) surrendered six runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts and three walks in 5.0 innings of work.
The Bearcats and Pacers will face off in game two of the series on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.