USC Aiken Bashes North Georgia 11-2, Advances in PBC Tournament
COLUMBUS, Ga. – 13th-ranked USC Aiken used 16 hits including three homeruns to end North Georgia College and State University’s Peach Belt Conference Tournament trip with an 11-2 victory in game number five of the 2012 PBC Tournament.
The eight-team double-elimination tournament is being played at 5,000-seat Golden Park in downtown Columbus, Ga.
USCA (35-17), the East Division’s third seed, advances to face the loser of the Armstrong Atlantic State University/University of Montevallo on Friday at 9:00 a.m. North Georgia (24-28), the West Division’s fourth seed, is eliminated from tournament play.
The Pacers opened the scoring in the very first inning as senior Stephen Carmon reached base on a one-out single and moved to second on an error by pitcher Taylor Keinat. The very next batter, junior Josh Miller, hit a bloop single to left field to score Carmon and give the Pacers an early 1-0 lead.
USCA scored its second run of the game in the second inning as junior Adam Anderson reached on a two-out single to left field. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch and was brought home by a single from junior Bryce Baur who beat out a slow roller to second base.
The runs continued to pour in for the Pacers in the fourth as Anderson and Baur hit back-to-back homeruns to put the Pacers up 5-0. The homeruns were the first for both Anderson and Baur on the season. Anderson hit a two-run homerun which scored senior Tyler Bourdo who had reached on a hit by pitch while Baur launched a solo shot. Both homeruns were to left field. After a groundout, Miller hit a double down the left field line which chased Keinat from the game. He pitched 3.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts, nine hits and five earned runs given up.
USCA added another run in the fifth as junior Bill Gerstenslager hit a one-out double to left centerfield. He was brought home by the very next batter, freshman Ty Barkell, who hit a single to left centerfield to give USCA a 6-0 lead.
The Saints threatened in the bottom of the fifth as they loaded the bases with two outs but a strikeout ended the threat and kept the shutout alive for the Pacers.
North Georgia finally broke through in the sixth as senior Matthew Black reached on a two-out walk on four straight pitches. Senior Terrell Jones then hit a single through the left side to move Black to second. The RBI came off the bat of freshman Andrew Gordon who hit a single to right field which cut USCA’s lead to 6-1.
The Saints tacked on another run in the seventh as senior Jordan Erisman reached on a two-out single after the first baseman dropped a foul ball earlier in his at bat to extend the inning. Junior Derek Hooper followed with a single to left field to move Erisman to second. Junior Kenny Bellavance provided the RBI single through the right side to cut the lead to four.
The Pacers put the game out of reach in the ninth as freshman Will Tankersley hit a three-run homerun to left field to chase relief pitcher Jacob Beauchamp from the game. Beauchamp pitched 4.1 innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts and a walk. He allowed five hits and four runs. The Pacers then loaded the bases on an error by the third baseman, a single to left field and a walk. Bourdo then drove in the fourth run of the inning with a fielder’s choice to second base. The bases then got loaded again as Anderson hit a ball off the second base umpire. Baur followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to put the Pacers up, 11-2.
Junior Kelly Holt (6-4) took home the win for the Pacers as he pitched 8.0 innings with 10 strikeouts and five walks. He allowed eight hits and two runs including one earned. Keinat (4-5) was tagged with the loss.
Baur and Tankersley led the Pacers with three RBI each. Baur was 2-for-4 on the day while Tankersley was 2-for-5. Miller went 3-for-6 with an RBI and Anderson was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI.
North Georgia was led by Hooper who went 3-for-5 at the plate while five others had one hit each. Bellavance and Gordon provided the lone RBI for the Saints.