Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday's highlights, March 26

Game of the day
Lander 9, USC Aiken 8, 10 innings

The host Bearcats (14-16, 8-7) fell behind, 8-1, before scoring three runs in the sixth, two in the seventh and two in the eighth to force extra innings in the Peach Belt Conference meeting. Alex Conaway's one-out homer in the 10th - the Bearcats' second walk off of the series -- sent the blue-and-gold clad fans to Dolny Stadium exits happy and prompt a somber bus ride down U.S. 25 for the Pacers (21-7, 7-5).  It was the third one-run game of the series, which earned the three games the tag as ...

Series of the weekend
Lander wins two of three over USC Aiken

The Pacers scored a run in the eighth to tie the score and another in the 10th to win Friday's opener, 4-3. USCA tied Saturday's game with an eighth-inning run, but Ryan Troutman singled in the winner for Lander in the bottom of the ninth, 3-2.  Alex Conaway's 10th-inning homer capped Lander's rally from seven runs down on Sunday.

Rising: Winthrop went 4-0 for the week and is on a five-game winning streak.

Falling: North Greenville's flirtation with the NCAA Division II national rankings may be over for a while - fairly or unfairly - because of an 0-4 week against ranked teams. Two of the losses were one-run defeats at No. 3 Mount Olive.

Elsewhere across the state
* Pat Krall and Ryley Gilliam combined for a shutout as Clemson (20-4, 8-1) beat Boston College, 2-0, to blank the Eagles for the second straight day and complete the ACC series sweep. The Tigers pushed across a run in the eighth and Seth Beer homered in the ninth to provide the margin of victory.

* South Carolina (17-6, 5-1 SEC) struggled on offense again, but beat Alabama 4-2, to clinch a win in the Southeastern Conference series. Riley Hogan had two hits and an RBI in his first SEC start. Clark Schmidt, who missed last weekend's start with a minor oblique strain, was effective in his six-inning outing and left with a 2-1 lead. With closers Tyler Johnson (injury) and Josh Reagan (long Saturday outing) unavailable, John Parke and Colie Bower stepped up with effective late relief work for the Gamecocks.

* Jason Bilous struck out seven in six innings and Peyton Isaacson had two hits and two RBI as Coastal Carolina (15-9, 5-1) beat Arkansas State, 6-1, to complete its first-ever Sun Belt Conference series sweep.

* USC Sumter (19-12, 3-1) had a pair of walk-off wins in Sunday's doubleheader sweep of USC Salkehatchie (15-20, 1-3) in NJCAA Region 10 play.  Sumter won the opener, 7-6, in a game where the lead see-sawed back and forth. The Fire Ants trailed entering the bottom of the seventh in Game 2, but Dexter Neal homered to tie the score and Patrick Price singled in the winning run in a 5-4 victory.

* Florence-Darlington Tech (24-10, 3-1) beat USC Lancaster (26-11, 1-3) twice in another Region 10 series, 6-1 and 11-4.

* College of Charleston (10-14, 2-1) won the deciding game of its opening Colonial Athletic Association series with Hofstra, 2-1, as Bradley Dixon drove in two runs and Evan Sisk got the win with a five-inning relief stint.

* Aaron Lesiak struck out four in 2 1/3 innings to save a 4-2 win for The Citadel (9-15, 2-1) in deciding game of a Southern Conference series. Jonathan Sabo and Ben Peden had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs.

* Robert Troiano III was a two-way star as Benedict (14-7, 4-2) beat Albany State, 5-2, to pick up an SIAC series victory. He pitched a three-hit complete game, walking three and striking out 11 while allowing no runs. He also was 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

Claflin (8-19, 2-4) held off Morehouse, 13-12, to take a 2-1 SIAC series victory. Neftali Reyes had two hits and three RBIs and moved from shortstop to the mound to get the save by getting the final out with the bases loaded.

* Brandon Gragilla doubled and homered as Charleston Southern (11-9, 2-4) avoided a Big South Conference series sweep by Liberty with an 11-4 victory.

* Flagler scored seven runs in the seventh inning in its 14-5 win over over Francis Marion (21-10, 5-7) to take the rubber game of the Peach Belt Conference series. Cole Hinnant had two hits and two walks and scored two runs for the Patriots.

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