AIKEN, S.C. – The Carson-Newman Eagles baseball team (3-3) fell to the no. 5 USC Aiken Pacers (4-1) by a 6-0 score at Roberto Hernandez Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles mustered only four hits in the loss, and the series is now even at a game apiece after Carson-Newman won yesterday's opening game 8-0 over the fifth-ranked Pacers.
USC Aiken starter Derek Beasley (1-0) earned the win after the right-hander pitched six scoreless innings while allowing three hits, walking two, and striking out seven.
Carson-Newman starter Alex Britt (0-1) took the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts in four and a third innings on the mound.
After a scoreless first inning, the Pacers struck for three runs in the bottom of the second. A Ryan Metzler sacrifice fly gave the Pacers a 1-0 lead. The Pacers added to the advantage on an RBI single by Sean Miller before Bryce Bauer earned a bases-loaded walk to score J.J. Loker and put the Pacers ahead 3-0.
Metzler continued his solid day at the plate in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a solo home run to left center to put the Pacers' lead at 4-0. An inning later in the fifth, Grayson Smith added an RBI single to put the Pacer lead at 5-0.
The last USC Aiken run came in the last of the second with the second homer of the game. Smith belted a two-out homer off Eagle reliever Evan Faithfull to put the score at 6-0, which would be the final.
Faithfull in his two and two-thirds innings on the mound allowed the lone run on three hits without walking any batters and striking out one. Brandon Timmerman pitched for the Eagles in the bottom of the eighth, only allowing one hit.
After Beasley's first six scoreless innings, Ben Black took over on the mound, only allowing one hit while collecting a strikeout. Taylor Grover worked a perfect top of the ninth to finish the game for USC Aiken.
The top four hitters in the Carson-Newman order: Peter Rajkovich, Brandon Roberts, Zach Long, and Cody Fox, collected Carson-Newman's four hits in the loss. USC Aiken was led at the plate by Baur, who finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and by Smith who went 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and a pair of runs scored.
The teams will play a rubber match in the Sunday finale tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m., with sophomore RHP Quinton Yocum (1-0, 0.00 ERA) starting on the mound for Carson-Newman.