Baseball Rally Falls Short in 7-5 Loss at #12 USC-Aiken


AIKEN, SC – USC-Aiken, ranked 12th in NCAA II, held on to defeated visiting Catawba 7-5 in baseball action on Thursday night at Hernandez Stadium.  The Pacers salvage the final game of the three-game set, improving to 15-5.  The Catawba Indians have a five-game winning streak snapped and fall to 14-9.

The Pacers broke open a tie game with a five-run fourth inning to grab a 7-2 lead.  With two outs, Brad Johnson (Gilbert, SC) delivered a two-run double and Chad Jacobsen (Littleton, CO) followed with a two-run homer for Aiken.  Chris Sheehan (Downers Grove, IL) homered to cap the inning. 

Catawba would get close as Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) hit a solo homer and in the sixth with Zach Evans (Greensboro, NC) adding a RBI single to cut the deficit to 7-4.  The Tribe loaded the bases in the eighth with one out and got a run back on a groundout by Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC), but Mark Yarbrough (Hephzibah, GA) got Brian Sommer (New Port Richey, FL) to fly out to end the threat and maintain a 7-5 lead.

Gary Lee (Chesapeake, VA) sat down the side in the ninth for USCA to record his fourth save.  Sheehan led Aiken with three hits and drove in a pair of runs.  Johnson and Jacobsen each had two hits and two RBI.  Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC) and Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) each had two hits for Catawba.  Matt Seabolt (Albemarle, NC) and Cliff Poole (Greensboro, NC) gave the Indians a chance with four and a third innings of scoreless relief.  Poole did not allow hit over his two innings.

Aiken drew first blood with an unearned run in the first.  After a two-out error, Ken Raborn (Evans, GA) singled to put the Pacers on top.  Catawba took the lead with single runs in the second and third innings.  Zeb Link (Woodleaf, NC) singled home Evans in the second, while David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC) scored on a wild pitch in the third.  USCA drew even in the third on Sheehan’s RBI double.

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