Braves Complete Sweep Of Visiting Lander
PEMBROKE – Lander used back-to-back solo homers in the top of the fifth to take its biggest lead of the weekend, but 30th-ranked UNCP rallied for five runs in the bottom of the frame and four more in the sixth to key a 14-7 win and a series sweep of the Bearcats Sunday afternoon at Sammy Cox Field.
Josh Haley doubled, homered and drove in five runs on a 4-for-5 hitting line to pace UNCP (14-3, 4-2 PBC) who also got three RBI and trio of runs scored off a 3-for-5 outing from Jason Coker. Three other Braves recorded a pair of hits, including Aaron Parnell who doubled and scored twice on a 2-for-4 day at the plate.
Jordan Owens homered and tallied three RBI on 3-for-5 day for Lander (12-5, 0-3) who dropped its ninth consecutive game with the Black and Gold, including Saturday's doubleheader sweep. Ryan McNulty homered amidst a 1-for-3 outing for the Bearcats as well.
Reliever Rudy Brown (2-1) struck out seven and yielded just a lone hit in 3-2/3 innings to pick up the win for the Braves, with closer Brian Willis striking out two amidst a scoreless ninth. Lander starter Ross Davis (1-2) allowed just three hits and two runs through the first four innings of the contest, but saddled the loss after a nightmarish fifth inning.
The Bearcats scored a pair of runs in each of the first, third and fifth innings, but the Braves sent their entire order to the plate in the decisive fifth before plating a quartet of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Lander cut into its deficit with Aaron Fludd's RBI single in the seventh, but the hosts put the nail in the coffin on Haley's 3-run homer in the eighth.
UNCP will pack up its show and hit the road again on Wednesday when it makes the short trip up U.S. 74 to battle region foe Wingate (10-5) in a 5 p.m. tilt at Ron Christopher Stadium. Lander will return to the comfy confines of home to battle Bloomsburg (3-8) on Tuesday at 4 p.m.