No. 3 USC Aiken drops finale, wins series against No. 1 Nova Southeastern

Courtesy: USC Aiken Athletics

AIKEN, S.C. – The No. 3 University of South Carolina Aiken baseball team lost a hard fought 6-5 decision Saturday afternoon in the finale of the three-game series against No. 1 Nova Southeastern.

The Pacers are now 18-4 on the season while the Sharks stand at 15-6.

Trailing 2-0 in the second inning, head coach Kenny Thomas’ team responded quickly.

With one down, Nile Goings belted a single to right field. Tyler Ammerman drew a walk to put two runners on. After another out, Skylar Mercado reached on an error by the second baseman, allowing Goings to score.

Jose Bonilla roped a single to right field to plate Ammerman, knotting the contest at 2-2. Bonilla quickly stole second, which proved to be important as Jonathan Banks beat out an infield single. An error by the shortstop allowed Mercado and Bonilla to each cross home for the 4-2 edge.

The Sharks added a run in the third and fourth stanzas to make it a 4-4 game.

After the top of the fourth, neither team could get much going due to the stellar pitching performances.

Nick Yobbi went six innings, striking out six and walking one. He gave up four runs on seven hits.

Blake Cantrell worked two-thirds of an inning while Christian Aragon tossed one-third of a frame. Hunter Dollander came in the eighth stanza and promptly got through unscathed.

Thomas’ squad went to work in the bottom of the eighth. Mitchell Price ripped an offering to left field for a single. Zach Moon came in as a pinch hitter and nearly launched a two-run homer. The ball curled and hit high off the left field fence. Price raced home and did not even have to slide, giving the Pacers a 5-4 lead.

One out away from the win, the Sharks managed to take a 6-5 lead on a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.

For the game, Bonilla went three-for-four. Banks, Bonilla and Moon were all credited with one RBI apiece. Ammerman, Bonilla, Goings, Mercado and Price all scored.

The Pacers return to action Wednesday when they host Emmanuel at 6 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at PacerSports.com. Video will also be available via Facebook Live at USC Aiken Athletics.

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