Feb. 7, 2009

Courtesy of USC Aiken

AIKEN, S.C. – The sixth-ranked USC Aiken Pacers erased two five-run deficits in the contest, but Lincoln Memorial was able to plate three runs in the top of the 10th inning to earn a 16-13 victory over the Pacers on Saturday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
The loss drops USC Aiken to 1-2 on the 2009 campaign, while the Railsplitters improve to 3-1 on the year with the victory.  Lincoln Memorial’s two wins in the series thus far give them the series victory.
Travis Howard (Bonneau, S.C./USC Salkehatchie) stole the show offensively for the Pacers in the game, leveling two home runs in the game. His two home runs in the game helped USC Aiken to erase the two five-run deficits.
His first dinger in the bottom of the fourth inning helped USC Aiken erase a 7-2 LMU lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning. The tater by Howard in the fourth was hit so hard that it sailed over the scoreboard in left centerfield.
The home run accounted for two of USC Aiken’s six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The score 8-7 in favor of USC Aiken after the fourth, Lincoln Memorial matched USC Aiken’s six runs in the bottom of the fourth by plating six of their own in the top of the fifth.
The Pacers would not let the Lincoln Memorial lead last though with Howard hitting a three-run jack to right centerfield to account for three of USC Aiken’s four runs in the inning.
The four runs would be all that USC Aiken could manage in the inning, giving LMU a slight 13-12 lead after five innings.
The offensive onslaught in the two innings finished with the Pacers and Railsplitters scoring a combined 20 runs in the fourth and fifth innings as both scored 10 each in the two stanzas.
The Pacers would square the game in the bottom of the seventh when Howard doubled to left field to score Ken Raborn (Evans, Ga./Evans High School).
Howard was pinch run for by catcher John Sherrer (LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange) after the double. The junior transfer left the contest 4-for-5 with six RBIs and three runs scored.
Howard’s two home runs in the game tied a longstanding USC Aiken record as he became the 33rd Pacer to record two home runs in the same game.
Howard became the second Pacer to tie a school record in the 2009 campaign in the game as Raborn tied a school mark in the dominating win over Wingate to open the year with five hits. The five hits in the game left him as the eighth Pacer baseball player to record the feat in a single game.
Howard’s six RBIs fell one short of the school record of seven set by twice in the 2002 season by Tavis Cummings (Francis Marion, 3/01/02 and Southern Indiana (3/07/02).
In the end, Howard’s individual effort in the game would not be enough as Lincoln Memorial’s Ben Adleburg homered to left field in the top of the 10th to give LMU the win in the extra-inning affair.
The two teams had a combined 10 pitchers see time on the mound with USC Aiken hurling four in the game.
Freshman lefty Tyler Stephen (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) was the fourth and final Pacer to pitch in the game. In his first appearance on the hill as a Pacer, Stephen threw the final 5.1 innings for USC Aiken, striking out two.
Stephen’s strong appearance on the hill still earned him the loss, dropping the newcomer to 0-1 on the year.
Josh Strawn was the final of six LMU pitchers in the game, dealing the final 1.2 innings in the contest. Strawn (2-0) struck out one en route to claiming his second straight win as he also obtained the win in the win for LMU on Friday.
Howard was not the only Pacer to fare well at the dish on Saturday with Raborn collecting four hits and three RBIs. He also scored three runs.
Jamie Benjamin (Alpharetta, Ga./Southern Union CC) had three hits in the game, scoring twice and acquiring two RBIs. Benjamin belted his first home run of the year in the contest.
Cody McMorris (Canton, Ga./Southern Union CC) was the final Pacer to obtain multiple hits in the game with the senior leadoff hitter finishing with two hits. He scored twice in the game.
Tommy Casto and Cody Pack both led the Railsplitters with three hits. They were two of seven Railsplitters to obtain multiple hits in the game.
The Pacers and Railsplitters conclude their three-game set at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday) at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.