Canes rally for four in the ninth to earn split with USC Aiken
Georgia Southwestern rallied for four runs in the ninth inning
to defeat USC Aiken, 5-4, in the second game of their Saturday
afternoon Peach Belt Conference doubleheader at Hurricane Field;
USCA won game one, 11-9.
Francisco Gomez and Bud Long each went 4-for-9 on the day to lead the Hurricane offense.
In the first game of the afternoon, USCA and GSW combined for 20 runs, 25 hits and eight errors.
USC Aiken opened the game with a run in the second inning.
The 1-0 Pacer lead would not last with Georgia Southwestern scoring four runs in the bottom portion of the frame. Four singles and two Pacer errors led to Southwestern's scores.
The Pacers would cut the lead to 4-3 in the top half of the next inning, but another three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, off of three singles, an error and a hit batter, gave GSW a 7-4 advantage.
The Pacers cut the lead back to within one run the very next inning USCA scored on a passed ball.
Down by one, the Pacers would then put the game out of reach for the Hurricanes in the top of the seventh inning with five runs. GSW would battle back to within two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it would not be enough and the Pacers would earn the two-run win.
Chad Benefield (1-0) picked up the win on the hill for USC Aiken in the game. Benefield hurled 4.1 innings in relief of starter Steven Spire. Justin Fry acquired his third save of the year.
Alex Franklin guided the Pacer offense in game one, securing a game-best 3-for-5 performance from the dish. Franklin was one of five Pacers with two hits or more. Nick Aranas led the Pacers with three RBIs in the game.
Travis Howard belted a two-run home run in the top half of the third inning.
Ryan Lackey (1-2) was tagged with the loss for the 'Canes. Lackey pitched two innings of relief and surrendered two runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
Long was 3-for-5 from the plate for Southwestern with a run
scored and a RBI. Zack Stanton added two hits, two RBIs and a run
scored; while Gomez had two hits and a RBI.
In the second game, the visiting Pacers took a 4-1 lead to the bottom of the ninth. However, with the scored tied at 4-4 and the bases loaded, Fry hit Long to bring in the winning run.
USC Aiken (12-12, 2-6 PBC) opened the game's scoring by plating two runs in the top half of the third inning.
The Pacers surrendered one run to the ‘Canes in the bottom of the fourth when Long singled to knock in Chris Lingham from second.
USCA would take the 4-1 lead after two runs in the top portion
of the fifth. Cody McMorris stole home to obtain the first run of
the inning for the Pacers. Howard then brought in Franklin by
doubling to left field.
Howard was one of just two players on either team in the game to record more than one hit. Howard was 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Gomez was 2-for-4 in the win for the Hurricanes.
The Pacers ended the game with nine hits overall. GSW (11-15, 4-4 PBC) had eight hits in the win.
Bud Fuller (2-3) obtained the win from the hill. Fuller struck out one batter and allowed one hit in his two innings of relief of starter Zach Whitman.
Fry (0-3) took the loss for USCA after allowing two hits, two walks and the hit batsman in the final frame.
The two teams meet tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for the rubber match of their weekend series.
PICTURED: GSW after the game two victory
PHOTO BY: Chris Fenn