Bearcats knocked from PBC Tournament by Flagler

Lander saw its season end on Thursday afternoon in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament (Photo by Molly Johnson)
Lander saw its season end on Thursday afternoon in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament (Photo by Molly Johnson)

FLORENCE, S.C  – Three ninth inning errors by the seventh-seeded Lander baseball team allowed sixth-seeded Flagler to score the winning run and eliminate the Bearcats, 4-3, on Thursday at the Peach Belt Conference Tournament at Francis Marion University's Sparrow Stadium.

Flagler, who moves to 29-23 on the year, advances to face either second-seeded USC Aiken or third-seeded Georgia College on Friday morning. Lander ends the season with a 21-31 record.

The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Lorenzo Bulter scored on a two-out single to from Cole Andrejka. 

Lander answered in the top of the fifth on Alec Dowell's sixth home run of the season, a solo shot to left field that tied the game at 1-1.

Flagler responded quickly, reclaiming the lead in the bottom of the fifth as Ondrejka drove in Ethan Crout on another two-out single. 

The Bearcats took their first lead in the top of the seventh. After three consecutive singles from Reed Gray, Bailey Connell and Mason Dodd, Dowell chopped a single through the left side of the infield to plate Gray and Connell. 

The Saints knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh when Ethan Crout scored from first on an Ondrejka single that was bobbled in right field. Flagler loaded the bases with one out to chase Bearcat starter Colton Rogers, but Robbie Hoyt induced a line drive to Connell at shortstop, who threw back to first to double off the Saint runner and end the inning. 

In the bottom of the ninth, Ondrejka singled to tie a PBC Tournament record with his fifth hit of the game. With two outs and Ondrejka on first, Jake Hathaway's grounder to second base was bobbled and thrown away, putting runners on the corners. After a walk loaded the bases, Ja'Kobi Dasher hit a grounder to third base. The thorw to first was low, allowing Dasher to reach and Ondrejka to score the winning run. 

Ethan Jones (3-0) picked up the win on the mound after pitching 1.2 hitless innings in relief while striking out three.

Hoyt (3-6) took the loss for the Bearcats, surrendering one unearned run on two hits in 2.1 innings with one strikeout and one walk.