Spartans Fall to Bucs Despite 8-Run Lead After Two Innings
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – USC Upstate took an 8-0 lead after two innings, but Charleston Southern tied the game in the seventh and took the lead for good with a four-run eighth inning en route to a 15-13 win on Wednesday at Harley Park.
Upstate (6-11) took an early 3-0 lead when Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) delivered a bases clearing double to left field with two outs in the bottom of the first inning.
The Spartans posted five runs in the bottom of the second inning to push the lead to 8-0. Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C.) laid down a bunt and thanks to a throwing error, Anthony Vacca (Fonthill, Ontario) was able to score from second base. With Grason Wiggins (Statesboro, Ga.) and Green on base, Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) doubled down the left field line, allowing Wiggins and Green to score. Bumgardner later scored on a wild pitch and Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) also came around to score for the Spartans.
Charleston Southern (10-8) cut the lead to seven, 10-3, after scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the third inning.
Upstate scored two more runs when Liput homered down the right field line. Liput's homer off of the foul pole also scored Green.
The Bucs cut the lead to just two, 10-8, after a five spot in the top of the fourth inning. The inning was capped by Nick Chinners two-RBI single to the right center field gap.
Upstate scored a single run in the sixth as Bumgardner drew a bases loaded walk, allowing Vacca to advance 90 feet, putting the Spartans in front 11-8.
The Bucs used a three-run seventh to tie the game at 11-11. Nick Chinners again drove in two runs with another single to right center.
Charleston Southern took the lead after the top of the eighth inning as the Bucs scored four runs, taking a 15-11 lead. Charleston Southern scored four runs on four hits in the inning and Walt Quattlebaum scored what proved to be the game-winning run on Brandon McKinney's two-RBI single.
Upstate added a run in the eighth, cutting the lead to 15-12, but scored just one in the ninth allowing Charleston Southern to claim the two-run win. Upstate had a pair of runners in scoring position, but Green flied out to left to end the game.
A total of 11 pitchers were used on Wednesday, four by the Bucs and seven by the Spartans. Charleston Southern reliever Brennan Dorsett picked up his first win of 2011 while Jesse Cadenhead earned his first save of the season. Ryan Fern (Oviedo, Fla.) was tagged with the loss and now owns a 2-2 mark.
The Spartans were led at the plate by Liput, Way and Bumgardner. Liput collected four hits, three RBI and two runs against the Bucs. Meanwhile, Way was 3-for-6 at the plate with four RBI while Bumgardner had two hits, three RBI and two runs.
Upstate will return to action on Friday afternoon as they host North Florida in the first of a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series. First pitch between the Spartans and the Ospreys is slated for 4:00 p.m.