DUE WEST, S.C. – The Lander baseball team suffered its first loss to rival Erskine in 17 matchups on Wednesday afternoon, falling 9-7 to the Flying Fleet.
Lander (14-22), which had won 16 consecutive games in the series, led 1-0 in the first inning thanks to an Erskine (20-16) error, but the Fleet answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. A Mike Fitschen RBI double in the third cut the deficit to one, but Erskine responded again with two runs in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 5-2.
Zack Moore put the Bearcats on top with a grand slam in the top of the fourth, but the lead wouldn't last, as Erskine plated three runs in the home half of the fourth to move ahead 8-6. Bailey Connell's solo shot in the fifth made the score 8-7, but Lander would not score again as the Flying Fleet tacked on an insurance run in the eighth.
Carson Schlegel (0-2) allowed three runs on three hits with two strikeouts in 2.0 innings, while Erskine's Josh Talton (2-3) allowed one run on three hits in 2.2 innings of relief to earn the win.
Lander hosts Georgia College in a three-game series at Dolny Stadium this weekend.