Diamond Jags Get Split With Lander

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Saturday March 22, 2008
GREENWOOD, S.C. – The Lander Bearcats scored three runs on wild pitches in the bottom of the eighth inning, pulling out the second game of Saturday’s Peach Belt Conference double-header 7-5 over No. 29 ranked Augusta State at Legion Field. The Jaguars scored a run in the 10th to win the opener, 2-1.

Lander won the three-game series two games to one and is 14-15 overall, 6-6 in the Peach Belt. With the split of the twinbill, ASU is now 19-14 overall and 5-7 in conference play.

The Bearcats trailed 5-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning of the rubber game of the series before rallying on a pair of hits, a walk, and two big wild pitches. With one out, TJ Guinan and Brooks Arnette singled against Jaguar reliever Chris Tyler. Kyle Payne relieved Tyler and threw a wild pitch. With both runners going on the pitch, they each moved up two bases with Guinan scoring the tying run. Another wild pitch scored Arnette with the go-ahead run as Payne wound up walking AJ Nunziato.

Jacob Watson relieved Payne and threw another wild pitch with Nunziato advancing from first to third. With two outs, Watson threw a wild pitch on ball four to pinch hitter Josh Lovvorn, scoring Nunziato.

Lander’s Tim Rau (2-3) retired Augusta State in the ninth to earn the victory. Tyler (1-3) took the loss.

The Jaguars had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on Jorge Virguez’s RBI-double and Michael Fritz’s run-scoring single. Nunziato homered over the left field fence in the second to pull the Bearcats within 2-1.

Lander grabbed a 4-2 lead in the fourth when Arnette singled, stole second and scored on Nunziato’s single. Justin King followed with a two-run homer over the center field fence. It was King’s first homer of the season.

Virguez hit his first homer of the season, pulling Augusta within 4-3 in the sixth. The Jaguars took a 5-4 lead in the seventh after Kevin Owens led off with a walk and Shannon Wilkerson singled. They moved up a base on Logan Dempsey’s deep fly out and scored on Bryson Smith’s infield single into the hole between short and third. But the Augusta bullpen couldn’t hold on to the lead.

Leading hitters for the Bearcats in Game 2 were Gabe McCann, Arnette and Nunziato with two hits apiece while King was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. Fritz was Augusta’s leading hitter, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Virguez, Dempsey and Smith had two hits apiece with Virguez collecting a homer, two runs, and two RBI.

In the first game, the Bearcats took a 1-0 lead in the third when Nate Mangiapane singled, moved to third on Chris Duncan’s single and scored on a wild pitch. ASU tied it in the fourth with the help of two Lander errors.