GREENWOOD, S.C. - The No. 2-ranked Lander University baseball squad completed a Peach Belt Conference series sweep of visiting Armstrong Atlantic State University on Saturday by knocking off the Pirates, 8-7 in 10 innings and 10-4, at Dolny Stadium in Greenwood, S.C.
The sweep clinches the regular season Peach Belt Conference championship for the Bearcats (43-6, 24-6 PBC), while Armstrong (25-18, 15-15 PBC) is now locked into the No. 6 seed for the upcoming PBC Tournament on May 10-11 in Aiken, S.C.
In game one, the Pirates scored three runs in the eighth inning to tie the Bearcats and send the game into extra innings. Trailig 6-3, Armstrong got a two-out, two-RBI double from Cody Sherlin and an RBI single by Tyler Avera to knot things up at 6-all.
In the top of the 10th inning, Avera delivered a two-out RBi single to give Armstrong a 7-6 lead, but Lander's Erik Lunde tied things up with an RBI triple in the bottom of the 10th, then Thomas Berry followed with an RBI single to clinch the victory for the Bearcats.
Cam Hokanson got the final out of the 10th inning to earn the game-one win for Lander, while Mitchell Dolan (2-5) took the loss, giving up two hits and one run in the 10th, walking two.
Avera and Clayton Miller each had three hits to lead the Pirates offensively in game one, while Sherlin drove in three runs on two hits. Graham Ramos went 3-for-5 with three RBIs to lead Lander at the plate in game one.
The Bearcats then used a pair of big innings in game two to close out the doubleheader sweep. After the Pirates scored a run in the top of the second inning on a wild pitch, the Beacats scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run home run by Lunde.
Each team scored twice in the fifth as an RBI single by Mason Hart and an RBI walk by Matt Wisniewski tied the game up at 3-3, but a solo home run by Lunde and an RBI double by Connor Lewis put Lander back in front, 5-3.
Lander then used a four-run seventh inning to put the game out of reach.
Hokanson (3-1) hurled 1 1/3 innings of one-run relief to notch the win in game two, while Ryan Jones hurled three innings of two-hit shutout relief to earn his second save of the season. Armstrong starter Justin Adkins (3-2) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up four hits and five runs in five innings of work, walking four while striking out three.
Hart's two hits led the Pirates in game two, whlie Lunde's 3-for-3 game with four RBIs led the Bearcats at the plate.
Armstrong returns to action on Saturday, May 3, hosting Belmont Abbey in a 3:00 p.m. non-conference contest at Pirate Field.