Pacers Claim Series Victory in National Top-10 Showdown
AIKEN, S.C. – In a showdown of top-10 teams, nationally 10th-ranked USC Aiken emerged with a series victory after a doubleheader split with No. 2 Lander on Saturday at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
USC Aiken (22-8, 12-6 PBC) picked up a 10-6 win in the first game of the three-game set between the two Peach Belt Conference East Division rivals on Friday, Mar. 23.
The Pacers fell 8-7 in game one on Saturday. They then rolled to a 10-2 win in game two to acquire the series victory.
In game one, USC Aiken rushed out to a 7-3 lead, but Lander (23-8, 11-4 PBC) plated five runs in the top of the ninth to come back for the 8-7 victory.
USC Aiken out-hit Lander, 11-10, in game one.
Derek Beasley suffered the loss on the mound for USC Aiken in game one, pitching a third of an inning in the top of the ninth in relief of starter Ryan Milewski (West Boylston, Mass./West Boylston), who struck out six in 6.1 innings on the hill.
Beasley (Harlem, Ga./Harlem) allowed the game-winning run.
Scott Elitzky (2-1) claimed the win for Lander. He pitched one inning in relief of starter Todd Hughson, who left after dealing four innings.
Ross Davis collected his fourth save of the year for Lander by pitching a scoreless bottom of the ninth.
Despite the loss, USC Aiken put together a record-breaking performance in game one with the Pacers stealing a school record 10 bases.
Josh Miller (Chapin, S.C./Chapin) led the Pacers in the contest with five stolen bases. The five stolen bases tied a school and conference record.
Miller also guided the Pacers at the dish where he was 3-for-4 with a run scored.
He was one of four Pacers with multiple hits in game one with Stephen Carmon (Camden, S.C./Camden), Ty Barkell (Denver, Colo./Palmer Ridge) and Bryce Baur (Moncks Corner, S.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) all obtaining two hits in the narrow Pacer loss.
USC Aiken started the second game off strongly by scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Miller kicked off the fireworks in the frame for USC Aiken by belting a solo home run to left field.
The Pacers would then add single runs in the bottom of the second and third innings to earn a 7-1 lead in the contest.
USC Aiken would add three more over the course of the rest of the contest to emerge with the emphatic eight-run win.
Miller once again led the Pacers in game two with three hits.
Nick Aranas (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate in game two for the Pacers. He also scored three runs.
No Lander player was able to collect multiple hits in game two.
Beasley (5-2) came out on fire in game two. He would go on to strike out a career-high 13 in six innings of work.
Thomas McLeod (Chapin, S.C./Chapin) dealt the final three innings to claim his first save of the year.
Lander starter Cory Hopper (2-2) suffered the loss for Lander in game one. He allowed six runs in two innings on the hill.
USC Aiken will next travel to Augusta, Ga. on Wednesday, Mar. 28 for the first game of the Fourth Annual Outback Cup against rival Augusta State.
First pitch at Lake Olmstead Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.