Spartan Errors Prove Costly in Loss at Gardner-Webb
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – USC Upstate committed a total of five errors which led to nine unearned runs for Gardner-Webb it claimed the 13-7 victory at John H. Moss Stadium.
Upstate (4-6) tallied two runs in the first inning on Trey Richardson's (Lakeland, Fla.) two-RBI double to right field. Richardson's hit allowed Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) to score the first runs of the game.
In the bottom of the first inning Jake Watts sac fly allowed Benji Jackson to score from third cutting the Spartan lead in half. Upstate appeared to be out of the inning, but a throwing error to first by Grason Wiggins (Statesboro, Ga.) allowed the bottom of the first to continue and Gardner-Webb (7-3) tacked on two more runs to take a 3-2 lead after one.
In the bottom of the second, Gardner-Webb pushed the lead to 7-2 when Jake Watts doubled to the right center field gap clearing the bases and due to a throwing error on the play by Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.), Watts was able to come around to score. John Harris scored the final run of the inning as he was able to score from third on a wild pitch by Ryan Newell (Marietta, Ga.).
After Upstate went three up and three down in the top of the third, Gardner-Webb continued the offensive attack, pushing the lead to 10-2 after three innings.
The Spartans were able to chip into the deficit with a four-run fourth inning. After a double by Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) and a single by Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.), Wiggins delivered a RBI-single to right. With the bases loaded, Green reached on a fielder's choice as Weber scored while Christian Faust (Massapequa, N.Y.) was out at second. Bumgardner singled to center and was followed by a Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) double as Upstate scored two more runs and trailed 10-6.
Gardner-Webb had a rally of its own with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. All three Runnin' Bulldog runs were unearned and they owned a 13-6 advantage after four.
Upstate tacked on one run in the sixth when Cook scored on Liput's RBI groundout.
Gardner-Webb's starter, Erik Helingenstadt earned a no-decision as the Spartans scored six times during his outing on eight hits. Middle reliever Emilio Pagan earned the win, his first of the season, after two innings of work, allowing just one run on three hits. Spartan starter Ryan Newell was credited with the loss after pitching just three innings and giving up six hits and 10 runs (four earned). Wednesday's loss was the first of the season for Newell.
Jake Waller (Phoenixville, Pa.) relieved Newell and pitched the final five innings of the contest. During his second career outing, he gave up seven hits as three runs scored (zero earned) while fanning six.
Wiggins collected three hits, one run and one RBI, while Bumgardner, Cook, and Richardson all had two hits and totaled four RBI and two runs.
Upstate will return to action on Friday afternoon when they open the conference slate when it hosts ETSU at Harley Park. First pitch between the Spartans and the Bucs is slated for 4:00 p.m.