FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE USC LANCASTER SPORTS INFORMATION Monday, January 30, 2017
LANCERS SWEEP RANKED OPPONENT ON THE ROAD
The first game of the series was quite the pitching duel early on as Harrison Smith toed the rubber for the Lancers. Smith, a first year player, was sensational in his first game striking out nine and not allowing a run. The Lancaster defense made several plays behind him allowing Smith to pitch aggressively and confidently throughout his outing. “It makes it a lot easier to pitch when you know the guys behind you are going to make plays to help you out”, Smith added. Trey Sowell entered the game in the sixth, making several big pitches to wiggle out of a jam before the Lancers started a rally of their own in the top half of the seventh inning. RBI singles from Tyler Ackard and Thomas Scott pushed Cross Holfert and Evan Edwards across the plate to give the Lancers a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Thomas DuRant came on to close out the first game of the season and record his first save of the year with a fist bump as he walked off the mound to join his teammates in celebration.
Although pitching and defense highlighted Game 1, the second game of the series was not the same story. Sophomore 1B Evan Edwards turned on an inside fastball putting it over the right center wall to give the Lancers an early 1-0 lead. Two innings later, freshman catcher Nick Cicci stroked a liner over the outstretched arm of the CVCC centerfielder plating two runs, extending the Lancer lead to 3-0. After Catawba Valley responded with two runs in the home half of the third inning, Evan Edwards once again delivers to the tune of a three run homerun to left center making the score 6-2. Lancers would go on to stretch the lead to 9-2 after a clutch two run single by outfielder Thomas Scott. Brandon Justice, starting pitcher, found his rhythm going six innings while only allowing two runs and notching his first win of the 2017 season. Mike Perez came on to close out the game for Lancaster as CVCC was attempting to rally in the home half of the seventh.
The Lancers faced an early deficit for the first time of the year after two homeruns from Catawba Valley in the bottom of the first inning. However, USCL responded by leveling the score at two in the third inning. In the top half of the fourth inning, Samuel Blalock set the table with a leadoff double. Walt Ballentine follows a batter later with a RBI single. Jared Williams, who hit .600 this weekend, drove Ballentine in from second with a double to left center. Edwards would make his way to the plate again delivering in a big way with a two run blast making the lead 6-2 for your Lancers. After a tough opening inning, sophomore right hander Kipp Rollings established his presence over the course of the game with a dominant outing allowing Lancaster to relax and just play baseball. In the top of the sixth inning, Edwards would again extend the lead with his fourth homerun of the series to solidify the Lancers’ third win in as many games.
As Game 4 rolled around on Sunday afternoon, all the momentum was in Lancaster’s dugout and they showed no sign of letting up. David Dunlavey was relieved by freshman Brock Robinson after going four and two thirds innings allowing one earned run and striking out nine Catawba Valley hitters. Cicci, Ballentine, and Williams once again got in on the action at the plate, all delivering RBI hits to quickly extend the Lancaster lead to 6-0 in the third inning. However, Edwards had no plans of slowing down at the plate as he blasted his fifth homerun of the weekend with a 2 run shot to deep right center to push the lead to 8-0 in favor of USCL. Freshman UTL Aaron Harper decided to join Edwards in the home run column as he connected for a solo homerun in the fifth inning, extending the Lancaster lead to 9-0. The Lancers would go on to finish off the Red Hawks with a 9-2 win.