April 20, 2010
Aiken Quiets Tribe Bats as Baseball Falls 8-5
SALISBURY, NC -- Nick Aranas ((Lexington, SC) collected four hits and scored three runs to help USC Aiken win a battle of nationally ranked teams with an 8-5 win over host Catawba in baseball action on Tuesday night at Newman Park. The Pacers, ranked 19th in the Ping baseball poll, improve to 29-15, while the Catawba Indians, ranked 24th by Collegiate Baseball, fall to 34-10.
Aranas hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Pacers on top early. Catawba took a 2-1 lead after four, but USCA plated four runs in the fifth to go on top for good. Aranas got a key two-out single to drive in the tying run while JJ Loker (Elkton, VA) and Matt Key (New Ellenton, SC) also had RBI singles in the inning.
Catawba cut a 6-3 deficit to a single run with solo home runs by Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) and John Neese (Summerfield, NC/NW Guilford HS/Guilford Tech) in the sixth, but Aiken got those runs right back in the seventh. One run scored on the second Catawba error of the inning the second came home on a single by David Vitko (Columbiana, OH).
Chad Benefield (Dallas, GA) pitched the final two and third innings to record his seventh save. He did not allow a hit and posted four strikeouts. Loker and Travis Howard (Bonneau, SC) followed Aranas with three hits each. Howard also scored three runs as the three through five hitters for the Pacers collected 10 of the team’s 17 hits.
Catawba managed just six hits with Greg Lawson (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) picking up two on a single and a double. Ryan Bostian (Kannapolis, NC/S. Rowan HS/Montreat) also homered for the Tribe.
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