USC Aiken drops regional opener against Columbus St

By  | 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

GREENWOOD, S.C. - The No. 15 USC Aiken baseball team was unable to come away with a victory in the opening game of the NCAA Southeast Regional, falling to No. 14 Columbus State 3-2.

The Pacers (36-16) fell behind early after Derek Beasley surrendered lead off home runs in the first and second innings to Brendan Collins and Mike McClellan, respectively.

Beasley was able to settle in after the rocky start, as he allowed no runs for his next 3.1 innings.

"After that he settled in and I thought he pitched well," said head coach Kenny Thomas. "We had him on a short leash because he was coming off four days rest."

Beasley pitched 5.1 innings and allowed seven hits to go along with the two runs surrendered in the first two innings.

In the third inning, the Pacer offense began to chip away at the Cougars' (37-15) lead after Kody Belcher got things going with a one-out double. Belcher advanced to third on a wild pitch and then reached home on a Sean Miller sacrifice fly.

Taylor Peed entered the game in the sixth inning and provided 2.2 scoreless innings out of the pen.

USCA struck again in the seventh inning to tie the game at two. Dylan Durham led off the inning with a bunt single and Charles Padilla moved Durham to second on a sacrifice bunt.

After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Durham reached home on a Belcher single up the middle.

Both teams traded scoreless frames in the eighth inning. However, after the inning there was a 68-minute rain delay.

"That hour and a half rain delay hurt us," said Thomas, who added, "We were rolling pretty good there and that really hurt."

USCA wasn't able to get anything going in the top of the ninth after play resumed, as the team went down in order.

Despite the long delay, Peed came back out to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Peed fell behind 2-0 in the count to McClellan and then surrendered a walk-off home run, the second home run of the game for McClellan.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press