Saturday March 1, 2008
AIKEN, S.C.--Sophomore hurler Steven Spire made his first career start for the Pacers as #14 USC Aiken (14-3) jumped out to an 8-3 lead and cruised to a 13-5 win over Barton College (10-10) in non-conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium. The Pacers have scored in double figures in their last four games.
With their ninth-straight home win, USC Aiken is one shy of tying the school record while the 14-3 start is the best ever in the 17-year NCAA history of the program. Spire (2-0) scattered nine hits and one walk over 6.0 innings of work, allowing four runs, three earned, striking out a pair in the win. He tossed 49 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
Keyed by a two-run homer by Gary Owens and an RBI double off the bat of Chad Jacobsen, the Pacers used a five-run second inning to take control early. Owens belted two long balls on the day, finishing 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored while Jacobsen was 1-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored. Through 17 games, the hot-hitting Pacers have smacked 29 home runs. They registered 35 in 63 contests last season.
A two-out, RBI single through the left side of the infield by Travis Holloman in the fourth plated Ben Deese and Jonathan Nichols to trim the deficit to 5-3. But the Pacers answered with three in the home half of the frame. Ken Raborn added a 2-for-5 day, as did Gary Asbill.
Holloman finished 2-for-4 with two RBI while Michael Parker was a perfect 4-for-4 with three singles and a double.
Kramer Sneed (1-1) was chased with two outs in the second after allowing five runs, three earned, on five hits and one walk in the loss for the Bulldogs. USC Aiken and Barton will play the final game of their three-game weekend series tomorrow at 1:00 PM at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.