MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The nationally sixth-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken baseball team split a doubleheader with No. 28 Montevallo Friday at Kermit A. Johnson Field.
USC Aiken (27-6, 13-4 PBC) fell to Montevallo (22-12, 12-8 PBC), 12-10, in game one of the doubleheader before garnering a split with a 10-6 win in game two.
The Pacers and Falcons will complete their three-game series on Saturday afternoon. The rubber game is scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m. EST.
Game 1: #28 Montevallo 12, #6 USC Aiken 10
USC Aiken was unable to complete a comeback, falling 12-10 to Montevallo in game one Friday afternoon.
The Pacers scored first, plating a single run in the top of the third inning. Branden Millhouse scored on a sacrifice fly by Bill Gerstenslager to open the scoring.
The Falcons were able to strike back with nine runs over the next two innings, scoring three in the third and six in the fourth innings. Zack Willoughby hit a three-run home run in the third inning, and a three-RBI double of the bat of Michael Simmons was the big strike in the fourth inning.
Montevallo added one run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth to complete their scoring. The Falcons did not trail after the top of the third inning.
USC Aiken scored three runs in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings to complete their scoring. In the fifth inning, Gerstenslager (Solon, Ohio/Mercyhurst), Ty Barkell and JJ Loker all picked up RBI singles to account for the three runs.
Sean Miller hit a triple with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, driving in all three runs, and an RBI double in the ninth inning. Josh Miller had a two-RBI double in the ninth as well.
Montevallo out-hit USC Aiken 18-16 in game one. The Falcons had three players with three hits and four with two hits in the game.
Six different Pacers picked up two hits apiece in the game. Millhouse (Summerville, S.C./USC Upstate), Josh Miller, Gerstenslager, Barkell (Denver, Colo./Palmer Ridge HS), Loker (Elkton, Va./Spotswood HS), Ryan Metzler and Sean Miller tallied two hits to lead the Pacer offense.
Sean Miller (Crofton, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS) drove in four runs in the game, and Josh Miller (Chapin, S.C./Chapin HS) and Gerstenslager each drove in a pair for USC Aiken.
Ryan Milewski (West Boylston, Mass./West Boylston HS) got the loss for the Pacers in a short outing. Milewski's record drops to 3-3 on the year.
Michael Shreaves (6-3) got the victory for the Falcons, and Edward Brandsema picked up his first save of the season in game one.
Game 2: #6 USC Aiken 10, #28 Montevallo 6
USC Aiken picked up a victory over Montevallo, 10-6, to secure a split in game two of the twinbill Friday.
Montevallo struck first in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Jackson Slaid. USC Aiken tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth with an RBI by Millhouse.
The Falcons plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead at 3-1. Willoughby tripled down the right field line to drive in the two runs.
The Pacers were able to score two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to take a 7-3 lead. The Falcons scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 7-6. Two RBI-singles and a sacrifice fly plated the three runs for the Falcons in the seventh innng.
Ben Donath and John Fidanza picked up RBIs in the fifth inning, Gerstenslager drove in two in the sixth. Metzler (Glen Burnie, Md./Siena) scored on an error and Millhouse had a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
USC Aiken was able to put up three insurance runs in the eighth inning to stretch the lead to 10-6. The Pacers were able to score on a passed ball, an error and a Millhouse single to stretch the lead.
USC Aiken out-hit Montevallo 17-9 in the win. Slaid was the only Falcon to pick up multiple hits in the game.
Bryce Baur (Moncks Corner, S.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) was the catalyst for the Pacer offense, going 4-for-6 in the game and scoring two runs. Millhouse had three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored in the win.
Gerstenslager, Donath (Aiken, S.C./Middle Georgia), Metzler, Fidanza (Prospect, Ky./Coastal Carolina) and Sean Miller each collected two hits in the game. Gerstenslager has now hit safely in 20 straight games.
Barkell went hitless in the Pacer victory, snapping a 23-game hitting streak.
Derek Beasley (8-0) earned the win leading five Pacer pitchers in the game. Beasley (Harlem, Ga./Harlem HS) pitched six innings and struck out four batters.
Alex Guilford (5-2) got the loss in the game for the Falcons.