USC Aiken baseball surges to comeback win over Francis Marion


FLORENCE — The USC Aiken baseball team scored five runs in the eighth inning for a 10-9 come-from-behind win at Francis Marion Wednesday.

The Pacers are now 4-10 on the season while the Patriots fall to 9-5.

Head coach Michael Holder's team jumped on top with a run in the second stanza. Joseph Mozingo led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third when Bradley White II reached on a fielding error. Moments later, Brock Myers singled up the middle, scoring White II for a 1-0 advantage.

The Patriots knotted the score in the second and took the lead with a pair of runs in the third. The home squad went up 6-1 with three runs in the fourth but Holder's team trimmed the deficit to just two, 6-4, with a three-run fifth.

Myers drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a Josh Sharp single. Two batters later, Dalton Graves blasted a three-run homer over the right field fence to make it a two-run deficit.

FMU made it 7-4 with a run in the sixth. However, USC Aiken put up a run in the seventh. With one away, Josh Sharp drew a walk and went to third on a Capers Molinaroli base knock to left field. Graves drove him in, making it 7-5.

In the eighth, USC Aiken's offense continued to produce. With one down, White II recorded an infield single. After a walk to Luke Parker, Myers singled to load the bases. A single by Sharp knocked in a pair of runs, pulling the Pacers to within one at 8-7. After a pitching change, Capers Molinaroli plated two runs with his single through the left side of the infield. Three batters later, Mozingo ripped a 2-0 offering up the middle, driving in Molinaroli for a 10-8 edge.

FMU scored a run in the bottom of the inning and had the bases loaded but USC Aiken got out of a bases loaded jam. Jared Huse continued his strong performance, retiring the side in order in the ninth, including a pair of strikeouts to seal the victory.

For the game, Molinaroli recorded three hits, drove in two and scored. Myers, Sharp, Graves, Mozingo and Doom Dennis all had multi-hit games. Graves led the way with four RBI. He and Mozingo posted extra base hits. Sharp drove in two and scored three times. Myers and White crossed home twice apiece.

On the mound, Derek Espinoza got the start and worked three innings. He struck out five batters. Jacob Bodkin tossed two-thirds of an inning while Evan Condon worked 1.2 frames with two strikeouts. Lucas Highberger worked a frame while Huse threw 2.2 innings with three strikeouts to get the win.

The Pacers return to action Friday when they host Claflin at 4 p.m.