AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Lander baseball team took its first lead in the top of the eighth inning and held on for a 7-6 win over Augusta on Friday afternoon.
Lander (13-20, 8-8 PBC) trailed 4-3 after seven, but the Bearcat plated four runs on homers from Zack Moore and Carson Jones to move ahead for good. Augusta (15-17, 4-15 PBC) notched a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, but could not complete the comeback effort.
The Jaguars struck for the first run of the game in the second inning and used a three-run fourth to build a 4-0 advantage. Lander scored its first runs of the day in the top of the fifth as Moore, Jones, Colton Yeager, and Kyle Jenkins notched four consecutive singles, the last from Jenkins driving home Moore and Jones to make the score 4-1.
The Bearcats cut the one in half in the top of the seventh. Moore led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs in the frame, Jenkins laced a double to left field to bring home Moore and trim the deficit to 4-3.
Bailey Connell and Roury Glanton opened the eighth with a pair of singles and moved into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt from Landon Dupert. Moore followed by launching his fifth home run of the season over the left field fence to give the Bearcats a 6-4 lead. Jones provided an insurance run for the Bearcats in the next at-bat, connecting for his 29th career home run, tying Thomas Berry's school record.
A two-out walk and a home run from Augusta made the score 7-6, but Ryan Troutman induced a fly out to left field to end the game and give Lander the series-opening win.
Fraser Ellard (1-2) earned his first career victory for the Bearcats, retiring all six batters he faced in 2.0 innings of relief. Troutman pitched the final inning to earn his second save in as many games. Augusta's Aron Chick (1-1) allowed six runs on 11 hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in 7.1 innings.
The Bearcats will look to clinch the series Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.