No. 10 Pacers open with sweep
NO. 10 USC AIKEN 2, LINCOLN MEMORIAL 0
STAFF REPORTSThe nationally 10th-ranked USC Aiken baseball team completed its season-opening three-game sweep of Lincoln Memorial with a 2-0 shutout victory over the Railsplitters on Sunday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
The Pacers have now swept the Railsplitters in each of the past two seasons. USCA (3-0) and Lincoln Memorial (0-3) have now played their first three-game series of the year against one another for the past nine seasons. USCA owns a 28-13 all-time series advantage over Lincoln Memorial.
In a game that was a pitcher’s duel for most of the contest, USCA plated the only two runs it needed for the win in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Pinch hitter JJ Loker plated the game-winning run for USCA when he singled in South Aiken grad Ben Donath. The Pacers then claimed another run later in the frame when Ryan Metzler scored on a wild pitch.
Five different Pacer pitchers combined to allow just seven hits to the Railsplitters. The Pacer pitchers struck out a combined 14 Railsplitters in the game.
Taylor Peed acquired the win in relief of starter Wyatt Brown, who pitched the first five innings and allowed just four hits. Brown fanned seven in the game.
Peed (1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth to claim the win.
Jake Padgett then struck out three in the seventh before South Aiken product Caleb Smith struck out one Railsplitter in the eighth.
Taylor Grover, a Midland Valley alum, obtained his first save of the year by dealing a scoreless ninth. He struck out two.
No Pacer or Railsplitter was able to claim multiple hits in the contest with each team having seven players with one hit.
USCA will next welcome non-conference foe Carson-Newman (1-2) to Roberto Hernandez Stadium for a three-game series.
The three-game set will commence at 4 p.m. on Friday. The series will then end with single 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday.