No. 9 South Carolina Aiken squeezes past No. 10 Lander in conference play
GREENWOOD, S.C. -- Ninth-ranked South Carolina Aiken picked up an 8-6 extra inning victory against the 10th-ranked Lander Bearcats on Friday.
The win gives the Pacers an early advantage in the weekend series between the top-two teams in the Peach Belt Conference.
USC Aiken (32-8, 17-5 PBC) picked up two runs in the top of 10th inning and Danny Wissmann came in to shut the door in the bottom of the 10th to secure the win. Sean Miller picked up the game-winning RBI with a single and Tyler Moore scored on the play as well.
The Pacers opened the scoring in the game by plating the first three runs of the game. A Ryan Metzler double scored Ty Barkell in the second inning and Branden Millhouse scored on a sacrifice fly by Bryce Baur in the third. USC Aiken scored again in the fifth to take a three-run lead on an RBI single by Bill Gerstenslager that drove in Millhouse to push the Pacer lead to 3-0.
Lander (29-10, 18-7 PBC) answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Bearcats scored on an RBI double and a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Pacers scored again in the top of the sixth when Moore singled in JJ Loker, but Lander scored twice more in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game at four.
USC Aiken added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to take a 6-4 advantage. A Moore sacrifice fly scored Gerstenslager in the eighth and Baur drove in Josh Miller in the ninth inning.
The Bearcats posted two runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Patrick Grady had a two-RBI single to tie the game at six.
USC Aiken out-hit Lander 11-10 in the Pacer victory. Barkell was the only Pacer with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-5 with one run scored. Baur and Moore each drove in two runs for the Pacers.
Connor Lewis and Ian Harvey claimed multiple hits for Lander. They both went 2-for-4 in the game.
The Pacers used five pitchers in the game and closer Taylor Grover picked up the win. Grover (3-0) struck out two and gave up his first earned runs of the season in one inning of work. Wissmann earned his first save of the season by pitching the 10th inning.
Three Bearcat pitchers saw action in the loss. Johnny Walker (0-2) took the loss, pitching 1.1 innings and giving up two runs.