Lander strikes late to take series from USCA

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Apr. 29—LANDER 10, USC AIKEN 6

Lander scored five runs over the final two innings for a 10-6 win over USC Aiken, sealing the victory in the teams' Peach Belt Conference baseball series.

Jackson Hannon and Luke Parker each had two hits for the Pacers (29-20, 19-10 PBC), and Nick Tripp and Kaden Blankenship each had two RBI.

Tripp's RBI flyout in the bottom of the second inning put USCA on the board, and Hannon's RBI double in the third made it 2-0.

The Pacers struck for three more runs in the fourth, starting with a Tripp double that plated Parker. Blankenship's groundout drove in Kaden Usry, and Josh Sharp's sacrifice fly brought in Tripp.

Lander countered, though, scoring five runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game.

Joel Haney got the start on the mound and pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks. AJ Deibel (2-1) took over in relief and took the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits with four strikeouts.

Blankenship's double in the bottom of the sixth brought in Usry and put the Pacers back on top, but the Bearcats had the last laugh.

A two-run homer in the top of the eighth gave Lander the lead for good, and another run scored on a fielder's choice to make it 8-6. Back-to-back RBI hits in the ninth made it 10-6, and the Pacers couldn't put together a rally.

The teams meet again at 2 p.m. Sunday in the regular-season finale at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.