No. 11 Lander baseball splits with UNC Pembroke

Chris Thomas
Chris Thomas

PEMBROKE, N.C. – The No. 11 Lander baseball team scored three runs in both the sixth and ninth innings of the first game Saturday afternoon en route to a 9-2 victory over UNC Pembroke and a Peach Belt Conference split. UNCP won the second game, 7-4.

Lander moves to 27-12 overall and 13-8 in the PBC, while UNCP is 27-13, 13-10.

In the first game, Chris Thomas (5-1) earned the win with seven strikeouts, two walks and one earned run on seven hits in six innings pitched.

UNCP's Jordan DeLoatch (4-2) took the loss after striking out four, walking three and allowing four earned runs on five hits in five innings pitched.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Josh Haley singled and later scored on Aaron Parnell's RBI single.

Lander tied it at 1-all in the second inning when Jeff May's sacrifice fly plated Jordan Owens, who reached on a single.

UNCP regained the lead at 2-1 in the third after another Parnell RBI single scored Haley.

The sixth was the big stanza for the Bearcats, who took the lead at 4-2 when Erik Lunde scored on a bases-loaded hit by pitch, Ian Harvey's RBI single plated AJ Nunziato and May's fielder's choice sent Patrick Grady home.

Weston Lawing's RBI bunt single drove in Colby Painter in the seventh to give Lander a 5-2 advantage.

The Bearcats added one more run in the eighth on May's RBI double and three more in the ninth when May's RBI single drove in Lawing and Kevin Starr's right field double plated Harvey and Owens.

For Lander, Harvey batted 3-for-4, May 2-for-4 and Nunziato and Owens 2-for-5, while the Braves' Haley and Parnell both went 3-for-4.

Lander opened the second game with a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBI singles by Starr and Harvey, but the Braves countered with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Parnell scored on a bases-loaded walk then Jordan Edgerton's RBI double drove in Zade Denton, Tyler Potter and Kyle Adair.

UNCP added one run in the second inning when Parnell's groundout scored Haley, then Lander cut the lead to 5-3 in the third when Nunziato scored on a double-play.

The Braves came right back in the fourth to extend their lead to 6-3 when Haley singled and later scored on a Lander throwing error.

Lander rallied in the sixth to trim the Braves' lead to 6-4 after Kevin Childs drove in May, but UNCP's Andrew Alford singled in Max Gagnon to go back up by three runs in the bottom of the inning.

UNCP's Alex Pearce (6-3) was awarded the win after striking out five, walking one and allowing three earned runs on 13 hits in 7.2 innings pitched.

Lander's Brandon Miller (5-1) was tagged the losing pitcher, striking out one, walking three and allowing five earned runs on four hits in two innings pitched.

For Lander, Grady and Starr both batted 3-for-5, Nunziato and May went 2-for-4 and Jordan 2-for-5.

For the Braves, Haley went 3-for-5 and Alford 2-for-5.