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Lancers Sweep SMC

by Robert Howey

The University of South Carolina Lancaster Lancers extended their win streak to nine games with an impressive weekend sweep of 13th-ranked Spartanburg Methodist College.

The Lancers, 18-3, also launched NJCAA Region X play with the four wins over the Pioneers, who fell to 15-6. “This was a great start to our region schedule,” USCL coach Steve Williams said. “We faced an outstanding team and won all four games. We made big plays in the field, on the mound and at the plate, “Facing a team like SMC, we knew we had to play well and we did,” Williams said. USCL capped the series with its second extra-inning win, a 6-5 victory over SMC Brantley Rumford’s two-out, RBI-hit scored Jacob Murphy with the winning run. Logan Segee worked a scoreless inning for the save. Kyle Downs went 4.2 innings and allowed four runs, two earned runs, eight hits and three walks. Brandon Faulkenberry worked a third of an inning and Travis Shelley hurled an inning, with John McClure, 3-1, getting the win in an inning of work. He allowed a run and one hit. Rumfored led the USCL offense with four hits, three singles and a double, and drove in two runs. Kyle Towles had two hits. Julian Steen had three RBIs, including a two-run single. Chavtin Venezia had a hit and drove in a run. Jacob Murphy ripped a double and Byron Haag added a hit.

The Lancers won the Sunday opener, taking a 5-2 win as Casey Cooper, 3-0, went three frames and yielded two runs, seven hits, a walk and two earned runs. Cooper fanned one. Cooper aided his cause with a hit and drove in a run. Jared Huffman had three hits to lead the offense. Randy Luckett, Jordan Williams and Julian Steen each had a hit and drove in a run.Kyle Towles supplied a hit and Stuart Pound tallied a run and drew a walk. Jacob Murphy drove in a run. The Lancers, down 2-1 in the fifth inning, scored four runs to go up, 5-2 and stayed in control for the win.

The Lancers opened the four-game series with a pair of wins Saturday. In the opener, USCL prevailed 6-4 over the Pioneers as Stuart Pound, 3-0 went the distance, yielding four runs, three earned runs, six hits and four walks. He fanned seven. Brantley Rumford led the offense with three hits and three RBIs. Casey Cooper drilled three hits and drove in a run. Kyle Towles added a double and two singles. Jordan Williams ripped a double. Julian Steen and Stuart Pound each had a hit. Jacob Murphy was hit by a pitch and scored a run.

In the Saturday nightcap, the Lancers scored a run in the top of the eighth inning to take the 8-7 win in eight innings. Kyle Towles, who had a hit, scored the winning run as he reached on an error, stole second and took third on a passed ball. He scored the winning run on a throwing error. Julian Steen led the USCL offense with two hits and two runs batted in. Jacob Murphy had a hit and drove in two runs. Chavtin Venezia had a hit as did Casey Cooper and Byron Haag. Brantley Rumford scored a run. Travis Shelley, 2-1, was the winner in two innings of relief work and fanned one. Andrew Ansley went 4.2 innings and allowed six runs – all earned, seven hits and a walk. Ben Keane went two-thirds of an inning and walked two. Logan Segee worked two-thirds of an inning and gave up a hit and a run.

The Lancers host the Newberry junior varsity Thursday at 4 p.m. USCL returns to Region X play as they travel to USC Sumter to battle the Fire Ants on Saturday and Sunday.

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