It is hard to believe baseball season is already here, but for college teams around the country it is. That includes the USC Aiken Pacers, a team that features several Columbia County natives on the roster.
USC Aiken is off to a 4-0 start as is the local contingent.
Last weekend, the Pacers swept Lincoln Memorial in a three-game series and moved in to the national Top 30. The Pacers opened the season with a 15-3 pasting of Lincoln Memorial.
Former Harlem High standout Derek Beasley was the Game 1 starter on the mound for USCA. He worked five innings, allowing five hits and two runs. The sophomore lefty also struck out eight batters and walked just one. Greenbrier product Sam Daniel worked a perfect eighth inning in relief.
At the plate, one of the Opening Day standouts was senior second baseman Tyler Bourdo. The former Augusta Christian star went 2 for 5 with a home run. Bourdo would follow that up with another home run in Game 2 of the series, as USCA won 12-5. In the series finale, Bourdo was 1 for 4 with an RBI. Daniel was once again perfect in relief, working a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Here is a breakdown of Bourdo, Beasley and Daniel for the opening weekend.
Tyler Bourdo (Augusta Christian)
.308 (4 for 13); two home runs, two runs scored, five RBI;
Derek Beasley (Harlem)
One start; five innings, five hits, two runs, eight strikeouts, one walk
Sam Daniel (Greenbrier)
Two appearances; two innings, no hits, no runs, two strikeouts, no walks
USC Aiken concludes the USCA Classic at home at 3 p.m. today with a game vs. North Georgia College.
ASU wins opening series
The Augusta State University Jaguars did not get the sweep on the opening weekend, but they did secure the series win over Carson-Newman by taking the rubber game 7-2. While the Columbia County products for the Jags might not have had as good a numbers, they played a big role in Game 3.
Former Lakeside Panther Preston Pye (center field) was 3 for 4 and stole a base on Sunday, while former Evans standout Jeff Rice had a huge three-run home run to help break the game open.
Rice, who led ASU in hitting a year ago as a freshman, was hitless until the big shot in the fifth inning of game three. Rice finished the series 1-11, but still had ASU’s only homer and led the team with three RBI.
Pye might have earned himself more playing time by collecting three hits in his only start of the weekend. Greenbrier product Justin Thigpen made two starts at third base for the Jags, but was hitless in five trips to the plate.
ASU is in Carrollton, Ga., today for a doubleheader with West Georgia.