USC Aiken baseball opens up 2009 season with win

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Sunday, February 1, 2009.

AIKEN, S.C. – The sixth-ranked USC Aiken Pacers opened up their 2009 season with a dominating 15-6 victory over Wingate on Sunday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.

The Pacers (1-0) and Bulldogs (0-1) combined for 38 hits in the game with USC Aiken collecting 21 hits in the contest.

A preseason All-Peach Belt Conference selection prior to the start of the 2009 season, USC Aiken senior Ken Raborn (Evans, Ga./Evans) showed why he was thought of so highly in the game as he finished the victory a perfect 5-for-5 from the plate. The Pacer first baseman, Raborn had a grand total of five RBIs in the game. He also scored three runs.

Stellar sophomore Nick Aranas (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) also showed why the USC Aiken corner infielders are looked upon so prominently as the third baseman tied Raborn for game-high honors with five RBIs. Aranas was 3-for-4 from the plate in total. He also scored three runs in the victory.

USC Aiken catcher John Sherrer (LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange) was the third Pacer to tally three or more hits in the resounding victory. Sherrer scored three runs on a 3-for-4 hitting performance in the victory over the Bulldogs.

In total, USC Aiken had five players acquire multiple hits. Leftfielder Jamie Benjamin (Alpharetta, Ga./Southern Union CC) and centerfielder Cody McMorris (Canton, Ga./Southern Union CC) both had two hits in the game. Benjamin picked up two RBIs in the win, while McMorris scored twice.

Jacob Karr guided the Wingate effort at the plate. Karr was 3-for-4 with one run scored. He was one of two Bulldogs to muster three hits with Casey Allison also picking up three hits in the game.

In his debut appearance on the mound, USC Aiken starter Clayton Knight (Goose Creek, S.C./Anderson) pitched four solid innings. Knight struck out two in his four innings, but since he only pitched four innings he could not pick up the win in the game.

That honor went to Jeremy Smith (Minter, Ala./Southern Union CC), who pitched three innings in relief of Knight. Smith (1-0) fanned four in his three innings on the hill.

Wingate starter Dusty White (0-1) was credited with the loss. White pitched just 2.1 innings and gave up seven hits and five earned runs.