COLUMBUS, Ga. – USC Aiken's Derek Beasley overcame a shaky start to strike out 10 and lead the Pacers' baseball team to a 7-5 victory over the University of Montevallo in the Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament's loser's bracket Friday morning at Golden Park.
USCA, which is ranked No. 13 and is the third seed in the East Division, improves to 36-17, and will face Lander at 4 p.m., Friday.
Montevallo, the No. 2 seed in the West, finishes the season at 25-28.
Beasley (9-4) earned the win after walking four and allowing three earned runs on two hits in seven innings pitched. Thomas McCleod was credited with his second save of the season after striking out one, walking one and allowing one earned run on two hits in three innings pitched.
Montevallo's Devon Davis (Mason, Ohio/Indiana Tech) (2-4) suffered the loss, striking out two, walking one and allowing three runs (none earned) on four hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
With bases loaded and one out in the first inning, Montevallo took a 2-0 lead on back-to-back, bases-loaded walks that plated Will Fulmer (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) and Vincente Andrews (Phenix City, Ala./Chattahoochee Valley C.C.). In all, Beasley registered four walks and hit two batters before striking out the final two to get out of the inning.
USC Aiken finally got on the board in the fifth inning and took a 3-2 lead on an RBI double by Stephen Carmon and a pair of RBI singles from Bryce Baur and Josh Miller.
The Pacers stretched their advantage to 4-2 in the sixth when Ty Barkell's single scored Nick Aranas.
Fulmer's solo homer in the seventh cut the Pacer lead to 4-3.
But USCA came right back in the bottom of the inning and increased its lead to 6-3 after Aranas' two-RBI double sent Will Tankersley and Carmon home.
Montevallo rallied in the eighth and made it 6-4 when Austin Dubberly (Helena, Ala./Pelham) singled, advanced to second on Josh Headley's (Gardendale, Ala./Gardendale) single and later scored on a fielder's choice coupled with a throwing error.
The Pacers responded with one run in the bottom of the inning to go up 7-4 when Baur, who reached on a bunt single, later scored when Montevallo second baseman Fulmer dropped an infield pop fly with two outs.
The Falcons scored their final run in the ninth on Andrews' solo homer over the right field wall.
For USCA, Carmon batted 3-for-5, Aranas 2-for-3 and Baur 2-for-5.
Dubberly went 2-for-3 for Montevallo.