USC Beaufort sweeps baseball doubleheader from Benedict

sports@islandpacket.com

February 19, 2014 

The USC Beaufort baseball team continued its strong play at home Tuesday, sweeping a doubleheader from visiting Benedict College at Richard Gray Sports Complex.

Erik Armstrong hit his school-record 10th career home run and surpassed 100 career RBIs and leadoff man JJ Crespo raised his average 60 points with a big day at the plate as the Sand Sharks won 8-5 and 4-2 against the NCAA Division II Tigers, improving to 6-1 at home.

Four USCB pitchers combined to limit Benedict to six hits in the opener, and Hunter Englehart tossed a five-hit complete game in the finale.

USCB (6-4) grabbed an early lead in the first game on Armstrong's 100th career RBI and Ryan Walker's RBI double in the first inning. The Sand Sharks tacked on two more in the second on Crespo's run-scoring single and an Ashly Morris sacrifice fly.

The Tigers (0-6) struck for a pair of runs in the third, but USCB added single tallies in the third, fourth and fifth for a 7-2 advantage. Benedict pushed across three runs in the sixth to get within 7-5 before Gage Roth came on to pitch out of a jam and worked a scoreless seventh for his first save.

Christian Pfaff (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win, while Crespo went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Armstrong knocked in two runs and scored two and Matt Kianka was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Englehart (1-1) was the star in the second game, holding the Tigers to two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and only one walk in the second complete game of his USCB career.

The Sand Sharks needed a strong outing from the senior right-hander, as they managed only five hits in the finale. Blake Cilwick's sacrifice fly in the first put USCB ahead, but the Tigers tied it in the second. Brandon Joyce dropped an RBI single just inside the left-field line to regain the lead in the third and Mitchell Stewart added a sacrifice fly later in the inning.

Benedict got within 3-2 with a run in the fourth, but Armstrong blasted his 10th career homer deep to left in the fifth for some insurance and Englehart recorded an inning-ending strikeout to strand two runners in the sixth before retiring the side in order in the seventh.

The Sand Sharks continue their home stand this weekend, hosting St. Andrews (N.C.) for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday and Fisher (Mass.) for a twinbill at 11 a.m. Sunday.

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