Saturday, March 9, 2013
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The University of South Carolina Aiken baseball team picked up a doubleheader split with Armstrong Atlantic State on Saturday afternoon at Pirate Field.
The sixth-ranked Pacers (15-4, 6-2 PBC) lost game one, 7-6, but they secured the split with a 12-8 victory in game two.
USC Aiken will next close out the Peach Belt Conference series with Armstrong Atlantic State (10-6, 4-6 PBC) with a single game Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Pacers will next be in action at home on Wednesday, March 13 in non-conference action as the play host to Limestone College.
Game 1: Armstrong 7, USC Aiken 6
USC Aiken fell in game one to Armstrong, 7-6, as they were not quite able to complete the comeback.
The Pacers opened the scoring for the game with three runs in the top of the second inning. JJ Loker and Ryan Metzler both singled to put two runners on base for Ben Donath.
Donath would triple to centerfield, scoring both Loker and Metzler. Donath (Aiken, S.C./Middle Georgia) would score on the next play on a Sean Miller groundout.
The Pirates would tally three runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 3-3 on a pair of RBI singles.
The Pacers would take the lead again in the top of the fourth on doubles by Bryce Baur and Bill Gerstenslager.
Gerstenslager’s (Solon, Ohio/Mercyhurst) double to left field would drive in Baur (Moncks Corner, S.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) to give the Pacers a 4-3 advantage.
Armstrong would score three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead back at 6-4. The runs would come on a walk, a passed ball and a groundout. The Pirates would add another run in the bottom of the sixth off a single from Chris Fritts. The RBI was the second of the game for Fritts.
USC Aiken would add two more runs in the sixth and eighth innings, but they would not be able to complete the comeback. Loker (Elkton, Va./Spotswood HS) homered to right field in the sixth inning, and Gerstenslager scored on a sacrifice fly from Metzler (Glen Burnie, Md./Siena) in the eighth inning.
The Pacers would out-hit the Pirates 12-8 in game one. Metzler led the Pacers at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored. Donath also collected two RBIs in game one.
Baur, Gerstenslager and Loker would all collect multiple hits in the game as well. Gerstenslager scored a run and had an RBI. Loker scored two runs and also had an RBI.
Fritts led three Pirates with multiple hits by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Chris Zittrouer and Cody Sherlin each had two hits, and Zittrouer scored three runs in game one.
The Pacers used three pitchers in the game with Ryan Milewski (West Boylston, Mass./West Boylston HS) taking his second loss of the season, pushing his record to 2-2. Tyler Stephan (Louisville, Ky./Trinity HS) and Ben Black (Augusta, Ga./Lakeside HS) also pitched for USC Aiken.
Caleb Woods (2-1) picked up the win for Armstrong, pitching seven innings. Juan Vera picked up his first save of the season in two innings of work.
Game 2: USC Aiken 12, Armstrong 8
USC Aiken would secure the doubleheader split behind a strong team hitting performance in game two with a 12-8 victory over Armstrong.
The Pacers came out scoring early by putting up three runs in both the first and second innings, and they pushed 10 runs across in the first five innings.
Branden Millhouse scored the first Pacer run from a triple to right field off the bat of Donath. Donath would come around to score on an error by the third baseman that allowed Baur to reach base. Gerstenslager doubled to right field, driving in Baur to cap the first inning scoring for USC Aiken.
The second inning saw back-to-back doubles by Baur and Gerstenslager to account for the three runs in the third. Donath and Sean Miller scored on Baur’s double, and then Baur came around on another double by Gerstenslager.
The Pirates would push across four runs in the bottom of the second to cut the lead to 6-4, but that would be the closest the game would get the rest of the way as the Pacer bats remained hot.
Every Pacer who played except one picked up a hit as they out-hit Armstrong 17-12 in game two. Donath led the offense collecting four hits and four runs scored in a 4-for-6 performance at the plate.
Baur, Gerstenslager, Metzler and Miller (Crofton, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS) would all pick up two hits in the game as well. Gerstenslager would collect three more RBIs to go along with his two doubles. Dylan Durham (Trenton, S.C./Strom Thurmond HS) also collected two RBIs in game two.
Baur scored three runs and Metzler scored two runs as the only Pacers other than Donath to collect multiple runs scored.
Three Pirates collected multiple hits in the game. Fritts led the way again, going 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs.
USC Aiken used five pitchers on the day, as starter Derek Beasley earned the win to remain undefeated on the season at 5-0. Beasley (Harlem, Ga./Harlem HS) pitched five innings and struck out seven Pirates.
Chris Base (2-2) took the loss for Armstrong giving up eight runs and six earned runs in four innings. The Pirates used three pitchers in the game.