GAFFNEY — The 10th-ranked USC Aiken baseball team got off to a good start in it’s non-conference game against Limestone Wednesday. But the Pacers couldn’t maintain an early lead, falling 7-3 on the road at Bob Prevatte Field.

After both teams went scoreless in the first two innings, USCA (27-8) was the first to break through, scoring the first run of the game in the top of the third inning. Limestone (19-16) responded by scoring the next seven runs in the game before the Pacers would score two runs in the top of the seventh.

First baseman Ty Barkell accounted one of the Pacers’ two runs in the seventh inning when he blasted a solo home run to right field. The home run was Barkell’s team-leading eighth of the season.

Branden Millhouse, Bryce Baur, JJ Loker and Sean Miller joined Barkell with one hit each in the game. No USCA player had multiple base knocks, as Limestone out-hit the Pacers, 8-5, in the game. Stephen Crowe, Michael Hughey and Kyle Riveria led Limestone with two hits each.

Five different Pacers pitched in the game, with starter Adrian Rivero (0-1) suffering the loss. He went 31/3 innings, surrendering five runs – three earned – on six hits and a walk. Weekend regulars Tyler Stephan, Ryan Milewski, Caleb Smith and Taylor Grover also appeared in the game for USCA.

John Cesario (3-1) pitched the first six innings of the game for Limestone to pick up the win. Caleb Shelley and Cameron Ward closed out the game with three scoreless innings of relief.

The Pacers will close out their week with a three-game series at Roberto Hernandez Stadium against Peach Belt Conference rival Augusta State. The series will begin with a 7 p.m. contest on Friday. The three-game league set will conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday, with the first game set to start at 1 p.m.

USCA and Augusta State have already met once this season with the Pacers winning 4-1 in 10 innings of the first Outback Cup game of the season between the rivals. USCA owns a 65-20 all-time series lead over Augusta State.