News 12 @ 6 Sunday March 2, 2008
AIKEN, S.C.--USC Aiken (15-3) erupted for four runs in the first and five more in the third as the 14th-ranked Pacers blasted the Barton Bulldogs (10-11) 12-1 in non-conference baseball action on Sunday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium to sweep the three-game series. Off to their best start in the program’s 17-year NCAA history, USC Aiken tied a 2001 school record with their 10th-straight home win.
Senior pitcher Peden Rucker (3-0) shut down the Barton bats, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and no walks, fanning five in 6.0 innings for the win. One year after major shoulder surgery, the 2006 Pacer ace tied the school record for career wins with 22.
Brett Godwin, Justin Fry, and Terry Oldaker each tossed one inning of relief, combining for one hit, no walks, and five strikeouts.
Ken Raborn delivered the big blow in the first frame with a bases loaded triple to right center, clearing the bases to give USC Aiken the 3-0 advantage. Nick Aranas added an RBI single to right field as the Pacers led 4-0 after one.
Chris Grandinetti and John Sherrer each tacked on RBI singles in the third, part of a five-run inning as the Pacers blew the game open 9-1.
Raborn finished 1-for-3 with four RBI while Gary Owens and Ryne Salmon each added three hits. Cody McMorris went 2-for-3 and scored three times.
Travis Holloman paced the Bulldogs, tallying three of the team’s five hits from his leadoff spot.
Hunter Meekins (2-2) surrendered nine runs, five earned, on nine hits and one walk in 2.1 innings in the loss.