GREENWOOD – Jeff May and Connor Lewis homered and pitcher Logan Pemberton improved to 7-0 as the No. 2 Lander Bearcats defeated Peach Belt Conference rival University of Montevallo 12-5 Sunday afternoon at Dolny Stadium.
The Bearcats won the PBC series, improving to 24-5 overall and 15-3 in the league. Montevallo fell to 21-11, 11-7. The teams split a double-header on Saturday.
May hit a three-run homer and Lewis added a two-run shot for Lander.
Montevallo scored twice in the top of the first inning on three hits, a sacrifice bunt, an error and a walk. Will Fulmer drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on Austin Dubberly's sacrifice bunt, stopped at third on Vinny Rodriguez's ground out, and scored on Jackson Slaid's single to left. Slaid moved all the way to third when catcher May was charged with an unfortunate error on his attempt to catch Slaid stealing. Neither the shortstop or second baseman covered and the throw went into center. Slaid scored on Zach Willoughby's single. Andrew Hill also singled before Pemberton got out of the inning.
The bottom of the first was equally wild as the Bearcats tied it at 2-all. Erik Lunde hit a one-out single and Patrick Grady reached on an error. Lewis doubled off the right-field fence. But Lunde, who held up to see if the ball would get caught, was thrown out at the plate. Weston Lawing followed with a two-run double to right.
The Falcons continued the two-run inning trend in the top of the second as Todd Thompson reached on an error, moved to third on Fulmer's double, and scored on Dubberly's ground out. Rodriguez followed with an RBI single, giving Montevallo a 4-2 lead.
Lander took its first lead of the game with four runs in the third. Lunde started the rally with a walk, moved to third on Grady's single, and scored on Lewis's single. After Lawing moved the runners up with a bunt, May hit a three-run homer over the left-field fence, giving the Bearcats a 6-4 lead. It was his fifth homer of the season and second of the series.
Lander scored twice more in the fourth, making it 8-4. Ian Harvey singled, Lunde belted a run-scoring double, Lewis had an infield single, and Lawing smacked an RBI double.
The Bearcats, once again, scored twice in the sixth. Harvey singled, stole second, raced to third on Lunde's fly out to center, and scored on Grady's single. Grady scored when Lawing reached on an error.
Lander scored two runs in the eighth for the fourth time. Grady hit a two-out double just out of the reach of Montevallo's first baseman and Lewis followed with a two-run blast over the right field fence. It was his fifth home run of the season and gave him a team-high 36 RBI.
Montevallo scored once in the ninth when Fulmer singled and scored on Rodriguez's double.
Pemberton pitched five innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits. He struck out five and walked two. Kyle Tate pitched the final four innings, earning his second save of the season. Tate allowed one run on two hits, striking out four and walking one.
Falcons starter Alex Guilford (5-1) took his first loss of the season. He gave up eight runs, seven earned, on 11 hits in four innings. He fanned four and walked two.
The Bearcats had several players with multiple hits. Lewis was 4-for-5 with a homer, three runs scored and three RBI, Grady went 3-for-5 with four runs scored, May was 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI, Lawing was 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI; and Harvey and Lunde each had two hits and two runs scored.
Leading hitters for Montevallo were Rodriguez, 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI; and Fulmer, 2-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.