MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Josh Miller blasted a game-winning grand slam and the nationally third-ranked/regionally second-seeded University of South Carolina Aiken baseball team picked up an 11-7 win over No. 25/regionally fifth-seeded Georgia College in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Thursday afternoon at Scarborough Field.
With the victory, USC Aiken moves on to face off against No. 29 Coker in the winner's bracket of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional. Regionally fourth-seeded Coker bested nationally 14th-ranked/regionally third-seeded Armstrong, 11-6, on Thursday.
USC Aiken (42-11) and Georgia College (33-18) commenced the bottom of the ninth tied at 7-7. Ryan Metzler (Glen Burnie, Md./Siena) kicked off the inning by singling through the left side. Tyler Moore (Evans, Ga./Evans HS) then claimed a bunt single to place runners at first and second. Sean Miller (Crofton, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS) shortly thereafter reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for the Pacers with no outs.
After the first Pacer out of the inning, Josh Miller (Chapin, S.C./Chapin HS) made sure the Pacers picked up the victory in the bottom of the ninth when he belted the grand slam to left field to garner the Pacers the dramatic four-run win. The dinger was the sixth of the year for Josh Miller.
The home run was the third of the day for the Pacers as Metzler and Ty Barkell (Denver, Colo./Palmer Ridge HS) both had home runs as well in the game.
USC Aiken opened its thrilling win over Georgia College by looking as if it would run away with the game. The Pacers buoyed by Metzler's two-run shot in the third inning scored the first six runs of the game to own a 6-0 lead after three innings.
Georgia College scored the next seven runs in the game before Barkell answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 7-7.
USC Aiken concluded its win over Georgia College with a 17-10 advantage in hits.
Josh Miller, Barkell and Moore led the Pacers in the game with three hits each. Josh Miller scored two runs to go along with his four RBIs.
Barkell was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored, while Moore was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
Bill Gerstenslager (Solon, Ohio/Mercyhurst) and Metzler each had two hits for the Pacers in their win.
Steve Hazel and Clay Ardeeser each had two hits for Georgia College in its loss.
USC Aiken reliever Taylor Grover (North Augusta, S.C./Midland Valley HS) moved to a perfect 5-0 on the year by dealing a scoreless ninth. Grover, who was one of five pitchers utilized by USC Aiken in the game, fanned two in the top of the ninth.
Georgia College reliever Jordan Modine suffered his first loss of the year by surrendering the grand slam to Josh Miller. One of three Georgia College pitchers used on the day, Modine is now 3-1 on the year.
NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Official Website: http://www.moctrojans.com/sports/bsb/2012-13/2013_base_regional
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