Carson-Newman shuts down No. 5 USC-Aiken behind Armstrong's gem
AIKEN, S.C. -- Carson-Newman (3-2) picked up an 8-0 victory against No. 5 South Carolina-Aiken (3-1) at Roberto Hernandez Stadium on Friday evening.
After leading 2-0 going into the top of the ninth, the Eagles posted a six-run rally in the inning to put the game out of reach, delivering Carson-Newman its third consecutive win.
Starting right-hander Chris Armstrong (1-1) was dominant on the mound for the Eagles as he picked up his first victory of the season. Armstrong fired six and a third scoreless innings while only allowing three hits, walking one, and striking out four. Pacers starter Ryan Milewski (0-1) took the loss after allowing one unearned run on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Carson-Newman senior right-hander Ryan Fillers earned the save by pitching the final two and two-thirds innings in scoreless fashion, scattering three hits.
Carson-Newman scored the game's first run in the top of the third. After Evan Kirkpatrick and Peter Rajkovich collected one-out singles, Brandon Roberts drew a walk to load the bases. Kirkpatrick scored from third as Zach Long reached on a fielder's choice to give Carson-Newman a 1-0 lead in the top of the third.
USC-Aiken threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning. With runners at first and second with one out, the Fillers replaced Armstrong on the mound. Fillers induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and keep the Pacers off the scoreboard.
The Eagles added another unearned run in the top of the eighth inning. Long began the inning with a single, and Cody Fox advanced him to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Shade Jett struck out swinging, Bo Ausmus hit a grounder to second that was misplayed by USC Aiken second baseman Ryan Metzler. His error allowed Long to score, although Ausmus was thrown out at second base to end the frame with the Eagles leading 2-0.
The Pacers got the last of the eighth off to the right start with a pair of singles. However B Bauer was ruled out on batter's interference before Sean Miller was ruled out at third on the play. Fillers forced Josh Miller to pop out back to the mound to end the inning.
The momentum from the bottom of the eight carried over into the top of the ninth inning as the Eagles would bat-around, scoring six runs on four hits and an error. The big blow came from shortstop Bo Ausmus, who hit a two-RBI single to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. Bryan Everhart went 2-for-2 in the inning with a pair of singles, a run scored, and he delivered the final RBI on his second single of the frame to put Carson-Newman ahead 8-0.
Everhart, Roberts, and Long all had multi-hit games, while Ausmus was the only Eagle with a pair of runs batted in.