Pacers Remain Atop Conference Standings

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Saturday March 22, 2008
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.--Ken Raborn delivered an RBI single to left field with two on and nobody out in the top of the seventh as USC Aiken (26-6, 9-3 PBC) claimed the nightcap of a Peach Belt Conference baseball doubleheader with Georgia College & State University (18-14, 4-8 PBC) 6-4 on Saturday afternoon at Kurtz Field. The Bobcats took game one from the ninth-ranked Pacers 5-2.

A perfect 4-for-4 in conference series thus far this season, the Pacers remain atop the PBC standings by one game after #13 Columbus State’s split with #22 Francis Marion.

In game one, USC Aiken jumped out to the early 2-0 lead on a Chad Jacobsen sacrifice fly in the first and a Gary Owens RBI double in the second.

Bobcat starter Shaun Monica, however, settled in to retire the next nine batters and Chandler Snell and Andrew Evans produced RBI hits in the third as GCSU knotted the game at 2-2 through three innings.

That score held up until the home half of the sixth with a fielding error by Raborn gave the Bobcats an extra out and they capitalized, plating three unearned runs, two coming on a two-run blast off the bat of Derek Johns to make it 5-2.

Monica, along with relievers Brandon Owens and Michael Newman, made that score stand-up, combining to hold the league’s most potent offense to just one hit over the final 7.0 innings of play.

Owens (4-1) notched the win in 3.0 innings of work while Newman (4) earned the save in the ninth.

Peden Rucker (5-1) went the distance for the Pacers, scattering nine hits but not walking a batter, surrendering five runs, two earned, and striking out seven in the loss. Rucker tossed 74 of his 112 pitches for strikes in the complete game performance.

Brooks Robinson led GCSU with three hits while Snell and Evans each tallied two hits, one RBI, and one run scored.

Jacobsen and Owens drove in the two Pacer RBI while no USCA batter had more than one hit in the game.

In the nightcap, USC Aiken again jumped out to an early lead, thanks to Jacobsen’s 16th home run of the season. The All-Conference first baseman smacked a two-run job in the first over the wall in left for the quick 2-0 advantage. Finishing 2-for-5, Jacobsen extended his hitting streak to 17 games while pulling within one home run of tying the single season school record.

After answering with a pair in the bottom of the first, the Bobcats took a 3-2 lead after four on a sacrifice fly by Benton Yaun. The Pacers responded with two in the top of the fifth, the second coming on an infield single by David Vitko.

Tommy Rice tied the game in the sixth on a one-out sacrifice fly to center field, but Raborn delivered the game-winning hit in the seventh.

Tacking on an insurance run in the eighth, Ryne Salmon doubled home John Sherrer to make it 6-4. Salmon and Raborn each finished 3-for-5 for the Pacers.

Newman’s (4-2) second appearance of the day did not go as well for the All-Conference hurler, as he was tagged for two runs on five hits in 3.0 innings in the loss.

Steven Spire (4-1) won his second-straight weekend start, allowing four runs, two earned, on seven hits and one walk in 6.0 innings. Mark Yarbrough (2) held the Bobcats to one hit over the final 3.0 innings for his second save.