Former Greenbrier High School standout Scott Wandless was not groomed to be a pitcher. Early in his prep career, baseball did not appear to be part of his college plans.
As a sophomore, he was a hard-hitting linebacker who seemed destined to shine as a safety in college football. On the diamond, he was known more as a great hitter until his senior season.
That is when his career path took a turn.
The talented lefty went 9-3 and was a strikeout machine. He decided to play for USC Aiken, following his brother, Nick.
Like his brother, he became a star pitcher in the talent-heavy Peach Belt Conference. Before this season, Scott Wandless was already among the best pitchers ever for the Pacers, and in 2008 the senior is just adding to his legacy.
In 12 starts this season, he is 8-1 with an era of 3.10. He also leads the team with 93 strikeouts in just 81 innings pitched and has held opposing hitters to a .220 batting average.
USC Aiken is 40-11 and ranked No. 11 in the nation.
Wandless is a big reason why the Pacers lead the Peach Belt with a 17-7 conference record, and he has had some help from a couple of his Columbia County mates.
Former Evans standout Ken Raborn has been one of the Pacers' main offensive weapons.
The junior third and first baseman is hitting .331 with 11 homers (tied for second on the team) and 53 RBI (second on team). He should garner all-conference recognition this season.
Lakeside product Dustin Tyra has come on strong late in the season for the Pacers.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Tyra narrowly missed pitching a complete game during the weekend, throwing 8.2 innings, yielding just seven hits and two runs to pick up his fourth win this season. He's had only one loss.
The Pacers have only five regular-season games left, all at home. Hopefully the Columbia County trio will lead the Pacers deep into the national tournament.
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