AIKEN, S.C.--USC Aiken (25-6) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back, registered a 17-4 win over North Greenville (12-21) in non-conference baseball action on Wednesday evening at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
Just 24 hours after driving in six RBI in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s 20-7 win over Anderson, senior slugger Chris Sheehan belted his 10th home run of the season as part of another six RBI evening, going 3-for-4.
It was the Peach Belt Conference’s leading home run hitter that ignited the offense in the first inning with a double to right center, driving in Darryl Pui and Ben Tankersley. Filling in at first base for an ailing Chad Jacobsen, junior Nick Ogurchak (1) smacked a two-run homer down the left field line to make it 4-0. Ogurchak finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI, all career-highs, while Pui extended his hitting streak to 14 games going 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
A 5-1 game in the bottom of the fifth, the Pacers broke open the contest with seven runs on five hits and two errors as 12 batters came to the plate in the inning. John Sherrer and Ogurchak each drove in two RBI in the frame with singles back up the middle. Sherrer turned in a 3-for-4 night with two RBI and two runs scored.
In the sixth inning, Corey Hinton singled to center field with two outs to score Chris Tate from second base, making it 12-2. Hinton finished with two of the team’s eight hits while Tate was 1-for-3 with one RBI, one run scored, and two walks. Curt Marshall added a 2-for-5 night with an RBI and a run scored.
Sheehan (10) ballooned the lead to 15-2 with this three-run blast in the sixth and freshman Alex Franklin (1) added a two-run homer in the seventh to set the score at 17-4. Franklin finished 1-for-2 with two RBI while Tankersley added a multiple-hit night going 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored.
On the mound, Dustin Tyra (2-0) tossed 6.0 innings allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks, striking out three in the win.
Bruce Whitehead (2-9) surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits and three walks in 4.0 innings in the loss for North Greenville.
USC Aiken will hit the road this weekend as they travel to Peach Belt Conference newcomer Georgia Southwestern for a three-game series. The Pacers will play a doubleheader against the Hurricanes on Saturday, March 31 at 1:00 PM in Americus, Ga. North Greenville returns home to Tigerville, S.C. to host Chowan University on Friday, March 30 at 2:00 PM.
North Greenville 000 101 110 - 4 8 4
#16 USC Aiken 410 073 20x - 17 15 1
E - Britt(6); Marshall(4); Hinton(13); Callicutt(5); Franklin(4). DP - Crusaders 1; Pacers 1. LOB - Crusaders 10; Pacers 11. 2B - Marshall(10); Sheehan(11). HR - Marshall(3); Sheehan(10); Ogurchak(1); Franklin(1). HBP - Britt; Broadway; Callicutt; Sheehan; Montgomery. SB - Reis(8); Tate(10).