Fifth-Ranked Pacers Split Doubleheader with Cougars

AIKEN, S.C. – (USC-AIKEN SPORTS INFORMATION) The nationally fifth-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken
baseball team earned a doubleheader split with Columbus State at Roberto
Hernandez Stadium on Saturday.

USC Aiken (36-9, 20-6 PBC) was able to
claim an 8-7 comeback victory in game one, but fell to Columbus State (25-17,
17-8 PBC), 16-8, in game two.
The rubber match of the series between the
top two teams in the Peach Belt Conference standings is scheduled for Sunday at
1 p.m.
Game 1: #5 USC Aiken 8, Columbus St. 7
USC Aiken picked
up a come-from-behind victory over Columbus State, 8-7, in the first game of
Saturday's twinbill. The win allowed USC Aiken to snap Columbus State's
eight-game winning streak.
Columbus State scored two runs in each of the
second and third innings to get out to an early 4-0 lead. Jimmy Obermark and
Ryan Lewis had RBI-singles in the second inning, and Dustin Averett hit a
two-run home run in the third.
The Pacers pushed across a run in the
bottom of the fourth inning on a Ryan Metzler (Glen Burnie, Md./Siena)
RBI-single to cut the lead to 4-1.
The Cougars added two more runs in
the top of the fifth to push the lead to 6-1. Cameron Griffin and Obermark had
RBIs to stretch the lead to five runs.
USC Aiken had a big sixth inning
by plating five runs to tie the game at 6-6. Sean Miller (Crofton,
Md./Archbishop Spalding HS) drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to open
the Pacer scoring in the sixth. The Pacers then scored on a double steal when
Miller stole second base in a pickle that allowed Tyler Moore (Evans, Ga./Evans
HS) to come in from third. Josh Miller (Chapin, S.C./Chapin HS) then drove in
Sean Miller with a single, and Bryce Baur (Moncks Corner,
S.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) drove in Branden Millhouse (Summerville, S.C./USC
Upstate) to close the scoring in the sixth.
Columbus State added another
run in the top of the eighth inning, but the Pacers answered back with two of
their own to retake the lead at 8-7. Cameron Scott drove in the Cougars run in
the eighth inning.
Millhouse scored from first on a throwing error by
the Cougar third baseman that also allowed Josh Miller to advance to second. Ty
Barkell (Denver, Colo./Palmer Ridge HS) later drove in Miller with a single to
right field to allow the Pacers to take a lead that they would not
Taylor Grover (North Augusta, S.C./Midland Valley HS) came in
to slam the door for his Peach Belt Conference-leading 10th save of the season.
Grover retired the Cougars in order in the ninth inning.
Danny Wissmann
(Arbutus, Md./Hammond HS), one of five Pacer pitchers, earned the win. Wissmann
(3-0) struck out two batters in his appearance.
Columbus State out-hit
USC Aiken, 12-10, in game one. Three Cougars collected multiple hits in the
Three Pacers also picked up multiple hits in game one. Josh Miller
went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in the game. Barkell and Sean Miller
each had two hits in the victory.
Game 2: Columbus St. 16, #5 USC Aiken
USC Aiken fell to Columbus State, 16-8, in game two on Saturday. The
loss snapped the Pacers' nine-game winning streak.
The Cougars scored
nine runs over the first three innings to race out to a 9-2 advantage. The
Cougars scored two runs in the first, four in the second and three in the third
The Pacers scored two runs in the bottom of the first off the
bat of Josh Miller, who hit a two-run homer to left field that tied the game at
2-2 at the time.
USC Aiken would add single runs in the fourth and fifth
innings to cut the lead to 9-4, but would be outscored, 7-4, the rest of the
The Cougars out-hit the Pacers, 17-10, in the second game of the
doubleheader. Five Cougars had multiple hits in the game, led by J.D. Pullen
going 4-for-5 with five runs scored. Scott was 3-for-5 with six RBIs in the
Cougar win.
Josh Miller and Barkell both collected multiple hits and
RBIs in the second game. Miller was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored,
while Barkell was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The Pacers
used six pitchers in the game with Wyatt Brown (Suwanee, Ga./Middle Georgia)
taking the loss. Brown is now 5-3 on the year.
Brodie Liebrandt (4-1)
earned the win for the Cougars. Zach Helewski picked up a save by pitching three
innings of relief and holding the lead. The save is the first of the year for

Game One:

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