Sixth-ranked Pacers split with FMU, take series

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. – The nationally sixth-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken baseball team split a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader with Francis Marion on Sunday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.

The Pacers earned a dominating 9-3 victory in game one before Francis Marion (5-5, 1-2 PBC) claimed a 4-2 14-inning win in game two.

The win in game one on Sunday allowed USC Aiken to claim the series victory over the Patriots. USC Aiken opened the league series with a 3-2 win on Saturday, Feb. 23.

USC Aiken (10-2, 2-1 PBC) has now claimed all four of its three-game series this season (Lincoln Memorial, Carson-Newman, Shepherd and Francis Marion). The Pacers swept Lincoln Memorial and Shepherd.

USC Aiken will next welcome league foe Flagler to Roberto Hernandez Stadium for a three-game series. The three-game league set will commence with a 6 p.m. game on Friday, March 1. The series will then close with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 2. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Game One: #6 USC Aiken 9, Francis Marion 3

Francis Marion opened the first game on Sunday by plating two runs in the top of the second inning.

The Pacers would take over from there, scoring seven runs over the next three innings to take a 7-3 lead. The Pacers would add its final two runs in the contest in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The long ball and extra-base knocks were the catalyst for the Pacers in their six-run game one win. The Pacers overall out-hit Francis Marion, 19-5, in game one.

The Pacers hit three home runs in game one with Bill Gerstenslager (Solon, Ohio/Mercyhurst) acquiring two of the three dingers. JJ Loker (Elkton, Va./Spotswood HS) collected USC Aiken’s other tater in the game.

The Pacers closed out the first game with three doubles with Ty Barkell (Denver, Colo./Palmer Ridge HS) claiming two of the three. Ben Donath (Aiken, S.C./Middle Georgia) also doubled in the Pacer win.

Five Pacers finished with multiple hits in game one with Barkell leading the way with a 4-for-5 performance. He scored twice.

Gerstenslager ended the Pacer win 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

USC Aiken’s Bryce Baur (Moncks Corner, S.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. The final Pacer with three hits, Branden Millhouse (Summerville, S.C./USC Upstate) was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Loker ended the Pacer victory 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored.

Stephen Johnson was the only Patriot to collect multiple hits in game one. He was 2-for-3.

USC Aiken starter Derek Beasley (Harlem, Ga./Harlem HS) picked up the win on the hill in game one. He dealt six innings, fanning 11. Beasley (3-0) allowed just four hits.

Beasley was one of four Pacer pitchers used in game one. The foursome combined to strike out 17 Patriots.

Francis Marion starter Don Sandifer (1-2) was saddled with the loss in game one. He pitched the first 2.1 innings of the game for the Patriots.

Game Two: Francis Marion 4, #6 USC Aiken 2 (14 Innings)

USC Aiken plated the first run of game two in the bottom of the fifth inning when Barkell blasted a home run.

Francis Marion would then score two runs of their own in the top of the sixth to take a 2-1 advantage.

The Pacers would even things up at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Ryan Metzler (Glen Burnie, Md./Siena) singled in Gerstenslager.

Neither team would then be able to find a run in the eighth or ninth innings to send the game into extra innings.

The score would remain tied at 2-all until the top of the 14th when Francis Marion would score two runs to take the narrow two-run victory.

Francis Marion out-hit USC Aiken, 9-4, in game two.

Metzler was the only Pacer with multiple hits in game two. He was 2-for-6 with a run scored in the contest.

Jarrod Reed led the Patriots in their victory with three hits.

USC Aiken reliever Caleb Smith (Aiken, S.C./Coastal Carolina) suffered the loss on the mound in game two. Smith (0-1) was one of six Pacer pitchers utilized in the game. The six Pacer pitchers combined to strike out 13 Patriots.

Wyatt Brown (Suwanee, Ga./Middle Georgia) started the game for USC Aiken. He pitched six innings, while striking out four.

Francis Marion reliever John Rossi (1-1) garnered the win on the hill. He pitched five innings in relief of starter Jeffrey Stoner.

Justin Turberville pitched the bottom of the 14th for Francis Marion to claim his first save of the year.

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