AIKEN, S.C. – The visiting Macon Music broke a 4-4 tie with four runs in the top of the eighth inning Monday night at Roberto Hernandez Stadium and went on to beat the Aiken Foxhounds 10-4 in the opener of a three-game series.
In the eighth, Scott Robinson followed a leadoff walk to Rojas with a double to left. After Aiken reliever Steve Dunham intentionally walked Ismael Castro, Mike DeVeuk made him pay with a two-run single. The Music would score two more runs on a wild pitch and an RBI groundout for an 8-4 lead. Macon plated two insurance runs in the ninth.
Tim Sweeney and pinch-hitter Josh Eachues reached base with one out in the ninth on a single and a walk respectively. After Jeff Timmons struck out, Ben Bando sent a grounder up the middle that K.J. Hendricks was able to knock down. Bando beat out the throw to score, and Eachues crossed the plate ahead of the first baseman's throw. However, Bando was too greedy and was gunned down to end the game as he tried to get to second.
Aiken scored three runs in the first inning before recording an out. Scott Houin led off with a double to left, and Bradley Key followed with a walk. Chad Miller then drilled the first pitch he saw on a line over the wall in center for a three-run home run. For Miller, it was his third homer in as many games.
After being blanked in the first two innings, the Music got to Aiken starter Reid Price in the top of the third. Rick Simpson and Ralph Roberts led off with back-to-back singles. After a strikeout, Carlos Arroyo drove in Simpson with an RBI single. Dorian Rojas followed with a long three-run home run over the scoreboard in left field for a 4-3 Music lead.
Houin helped manufacture the game-tying run in the bottom of the third. The outfielder drew a walk to leadoff the frame. Houin then stole second and advanced to third when the catcher's throw got past the shortstop covering. Miller plated Houin with an RBI groundout.
Roberts, the Music's starter, and reliever Ashley Hooks silenced the Foxhounds' bats over the next five innings, allowing just one hit. Hooks (3-0) got the win, allowing two runs in 3.0 innings while striking out five.
Castro, Rojas, Robinson each had two hits, and Arroyo collected three as the Music pounded out 13 hits. Rojas also drove in three runs.
Miller was the lone bright spot for the Foxhounds, as the third baseman went 2-for-4 with a run and four RBI.
Aiken and Macon return to the field on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM to play game two is their three-game set.