Railsplitters top USC-Aiken 8-5
AIKEN, S.C. — Junior Kelvin Brito collected three RBI and sophomore hurler Wes Todd tossed six strong innings to lead the Railsplitters to an 8-5 victory over the 14th-ranked USC-Aiken Pacers on Monday.
Lincoln Memorial University (1-2) picks up its first win of the season after USC-Aiken (2-1) took the first two games of the series with an 8-2 win on Saturday and a 10-0 victory on Sunday. With Monday’s win, the Railsplitters topped the Pacers for the first time since the 2011 season.
The Railsplitters drew first blood in the top of the fifth with a lead-off home run by junior Colin Buckner. Lincoln Memorial doubled its lead the following frame, as Brito picked up the first of three RBI with a two-out single. That hit drove home Josh Coker, who started the two-out rally with a double to left field.
The Pacers responded in the home half of the sixth and ripped off three straight two-out doubles to tie the game at 2-2. Ben Donath sparked that rally, while Ty Barkell and Matt Bosse finished it off with the two run-scoring two-baggers.
LMU reasserted control with a four-run outburst in the visiting half of the seventh. Buckner led off with a single and Kyle Floyd walked, opening the door for Isaac Woody’s two-run single. Following a Jean Rodriguez single and a Coker walk, Brito drove in two more runs with a single to left field, catapulting LMU to a 6-2 advantage.
Sean Miller cut into LMU’s lead with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh, but the Railsplitters erased that with two runs in the top of the eighth. Floyd singled home Buckner and Rodriguez sent Floyd in with a sacrifice fly two batters later.
Aiken threatened in the bottom of the eighth, as Matt Bosse drove in Barkell with a one-out single to close the gap to 8-5, but Coker induced a ground out and a strikeout to splash out that rally. Coker returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth and used a pair of strikeouts to close out the win.
After totaling only six hits and two runs in the two earlier losses in the series, the Railsplitters broke out with 12 hits and eight runs. Rodriguez and Brito posted three hits apiece, while Woody and Buckner logged two hits. Brito led all players with three RBI and Woody, who went 4-for-9 in the series, drove in two runs.
Sophomore Wes Todd (1-0) picked up the win in his first start of the season, surrendering only two runs in six innings with a strikeout and no walks on his stat sheet.
The Railsplitters are scheduled to kick off South Atlantic Conference play this weekend at Newberry. LMU and the Wolves play the first of that three-game series at 6 p.m. on Friday with a double-header on Saturday.
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