NO. 5 USC AIKEN 3, SHEPHERD 1
A three-run, two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth inning allowed the nationally fifth-ranked USC Aiken baseball team to obtain a 3-1 victory over Shepherd on Friday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, USCA’s Ben Donath, a South Aiken product, singled through the left side to tie the game up at 1-1.
Bill Gerstenslager then doubled down the right field line to score two more runs for the Pacers.
The three runs proved to be all the Pacers would need in their eventual two-run win.
USCA (6-1) and Shepherd (0-1) each finished the game with six hits.
Gerstenslager was the only Pacer with multiple hits. He ended his afternoon 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Chad Murphy led Shepherd in its season opener with two hits.
Four Pacer pitchers combined to record nine strikeouts.
USCA starter Ryan Milewski claimed the win on the hill. Milewski pitched six innings, striking out five.
Pacer closer and Midland Valley grad Taylor Grover acquired his second save of the year in the contest by pitching a scoreless ninth. He struck out two in the frame.
Shepherd starter Paul Hvozdovic suffered the loss in the game. He struck out four, while allowing the three Pacer runs in his six innings on the mound.
USCA and Shepherd will continue their three-game series with a 1 p.m. game today. The series will close with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday.
Staff photo by Noah Feit USC Aiken head coach Kenny Thomas, right, goes over lineup changes with the home plate umpire in the Pacers' 3-1 win.×
Staff photo by Noah Feit USC Aiken reliever Sam Daniel delivers home in the Pacers' 3-1 win.×
Staff photo by Noah Feit USC Aiken closer Taylor Grover, right, is greeted by catcher John Fidanza after nailing down the final three outs of the Pacers’ 3-1 win.×
Staff photo by Noah Feit USC Aiken reliever Caleb Smith delivers home in the Pacers' 3-1 win.×