AIKEN, S.C. – Stephen Carmon picked up the game-winning single and the 16th-ranked USC Aiken baseball team shook off a slow start to down Pfeiffer 10-5 on Wednesday evening at Roberto Hernandez Stadium. Carmon’s game-winning single was part of a seven-run bottom of the eighth inning for the Pacers. USC Aiken entered the bottom portion of the frame down by two at 5-3, but turned the corner in the inning in the five-run win.
Preseason All-American Travis Howard (Bonneau, S.C./USC Salkehatchie) got things going for the Pacers in the bottom of the eighth when he laced a single to left field. After Josh Attaway (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) came in to run for Howard, USC Aiken’s Nick Aranas (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) gave the Pacers runners at first and second by singling up the middle. Gary Asbill (Batesburg, S.C./Batesburg-Leesville) then jammed the bases by executing a perfectly placed bunt.
Matt Key (New Ellenton, S.C./Silver Bluff) acquired the first run of the frame for the Pacers by blasting a single to the wall in right center field. The single scored Attaway, but Aranas was caught at home on a great throw by the Pfeiffer centerfielder.
The score 5-4 in the Falcons’ favor, freshman Tripp Warrick (North Augusta, S.C./North Augusta) evened the game for the Pacers at 5-5 by deftly placing a single in short right centerfield to score Asbill. On the play, the Pfeiffer right fielder was unable to corral the baseball and Warrick subsequently moved to second and Key moved on to third.
Carmon (Camden, S.C./Camden) commandeered the eventual game-winning run next when he singled to right centerfield to bring in Key and give the Pacers a 6-5 lead.
The Pacers would continue their onslaught the rest of the inning with pinch hitter J.J. Loker (Elkton, Va./Spotswood) claiming the final two runs of the inning by singling up the middle to garner the Pacers a 10-5 lead.
USC Aiken relief pitcher Chad Benefield (Dallas, Ga./Southern Union CC) would then close out the game for the Pacers in the top of the ninth to help the Pacers collect their 10th victory in their last 11 outings.
Pacer reliever Ryan Milewski (West Boylston, Ma./West Boylston) was awarded the win on the hill in the game. Milewski fanned one in the top of the eighth to move to 2-0 on the year.
Pacer starter Jason Cochcroft (Gilbert, S.C./Gilbert) pitched well in his seven innings on the mound, but he left the contest with the Pacers down by two runs. Cochcroft struck out three.
Pfeiffer reliever Luke Wilhelm (2-2) dealt just 1.1 innings, but he surrendered five runs (two earned) to obtain the loss. Falcons starter John McDaniel fanned eight and left the game with the lead, but the Pfeiffer bullpen was unable to close down the vaunted Pacer offense down the stretch.
Aranas led the Pacers in the win over the Falcons at the dish. Aranas was 3-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI. Aranas hit his fourth home run of the season in the game.
Carmon was the only other Pacer to finish with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Pfeiffer had two players collect three hits in their loss with Zack Pou and J.T. Pope both obtaining three hits. Pou was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Pope was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
USC Aiken finished the contest in total with two more hits than the Falcons at 13-11.
The Pacers are now 13-7 on the 2010 season, while the loss dropped the Falcons to 11-14 on the year.