ORANGEBURG, S.C. - The Armstrong State University baseball squad built an 8-0 lead after four innings and held on for an 8-6 non-conference victory over Claflin University on Tuesday afternoon at Mirmow Field.
The win was the ninth straight for the Pirates (10-2), while Claflin fell to 1-11 on the season with the loss. Armstrong State returns to action on Saturday, hosting Davis & Elkins in an 11:00 a.m. doubleheader at Pirate Field.
Senior Ryan Patterson started off the Pirates' scoring with a two-run home run in the first inning and an RBI single in the second. An error and a two-run single by junior Chandler Corley made the score 6-0 after three innings, then an RBI single by junior Caleb Slaughter and a squeeze bunt RBI by senior Tray Roberts in the fourth staked Armstrong State to the 8-0 lead.
Claflin began its comeback in the bottom of the fourth on Johnny Stevenson's RBI single, then Darrell Langston's RBI single in the fifth made it 8-2.
The Panthers scored four times in the eighth - highlighted by a two-run single by Chase Henderson - to cut the lead to just two at 8-6. But senior Nick Andress worked out of the eighth-inning jam and hurled a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his first save of the year with two innings of one-hit ball, walking one while striking out three.
Senior Aaron Bentley (2-0) picked up the win for the Pirates, pitching five innings and giving up eight hits and two runs, walking three while striking out three. Claflin starter Eric DuBose (0-3) took the loss for the Panthers, giving up four hits and three runs - two earned - in two innings, walking two.
Corley went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI, while Patterson went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Pirates at the plate. Langston went 3-for-5 with two RBI to pace the Panthers offensively.