AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University baseball team opened a Peach Belt Conference series with the Lander Bearcats on Friday and gave up four runs in the eighth inning to lose 7-6 at Jaguar Field.
Augusta (15-17, 4-15 PBC) took an early lead, but Lander (13-20, 8-8 PBC) chipped away and stole a one-run battle off two home runs.
Watson hit a single to right field for AU in the second inning and Bilardello singled to left in the fourth inning that each scored Robertson. Watson scored later in the fourth on a wild pitch and Bilardello took home after freshman Ben Markiewicz tried to steal second to get the runner home. Leading 4-0, the Jaguars gave back two runs after the Bearcats hit four straight singles in the fifth inning.
Lander's double in the seventh and three-run homer in the eighth gave them a 6-4 lead. Jaguar senior Aron Chick (1-1) made his second start of the season and his 13th overall appearance for Augusta. The team leader in ERA struck out nine batters in 7.1 innings and gave up 11 hits for six runs. After the three-run homer, Augusta senior Tony Jones took over the mound and faced four batters, before freshman Tripp Church struck out three in one inning of action.
The Bearcats scored four in the eighth – highlighted by two home runs, but Augusta wasn't done.After sophomore Skylor Murphy drew a walk with two outs, senior Harrison Moore came to the plate and hit a two-run homer to get the team within one run. The Bearcats got the final out to hold off the Jaguars.
AU hosts game two against Lander on Saturday, March 30 for a 1:00 p.m. first pitch at Jaguar Field in Augusta, Ga.
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