Do the Roy: Richardson’s Blast Leads Upstate to Twinbill Split
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – In game one of Saturday's doubleheader, Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) sent Garrett Fanchier's 1-2 pitch over the wall in left field for a 6-5 victory in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 10th.
Belmont claimed the series finale, 5-1, to improve to 16-17 overall and 6-9 in the Atlantic Sun. USC Upstate now sits 12-22 overall and owns a 6-10 mark in league play.
Upstate 6, Belmont 5 (DH Game 1)
The walk-off victory by the Spartans was the first for Upstate this season and first since Apr. 13, 2010, when it downed College of Charleston at Harley Park by a score of 11-10. The homer by Richardson marked the first time in the D-I era that the Spartans won on a walk-off blast.
Spartan reliever Chris Knauff (Marietta, Ga.) pitched the final four frames for the Spartans and picked up his third win of the season after allowing two runs on two hits and a walk as he faced a total of 15 Bruin batters.
Belmont reliever Garrett Fanchier (1-3) took the loss after giving up the walk-off homerun to Richardson in the bottom of the 10th.
The two teams posted zeros on the scoreboard over the first three innings of the contest and combined for four hits during that span.
In the top of the fourth Belmont scored the first run of the game when Jared Breen laid down a sacrifice bunt, allowing Tim Egerton to score from third.
Upstate answered with a pair of runs in the second to take a 2-1 lead after four innings. Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) tripled to right center, his seventh of the season, allowing Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C.) to score. Liput was able to advance home on Richardson's RBI groundout to short.
The Bruins tied the game with a single run in the fifth as Dylan Craig scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Matt Zeblo.
Belmont took the lead after tacking on one run in the sixth to take a 3-2 lead. Judah Akers led off the inning with a double down the left field line and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Greg Brody.
The Spartans regained the lead as they scored three unearned runs in the home half of the sixth inning. Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) scored when Richardson reached on an error by the Belmont shortstop, Jared Breen. Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) and Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) delivered back-to-back RBI singles to put the Spartans in front by a score of 5-3.
Upstate starter Jake Waller (Phoenixville, Pa.) recorded the longest outing of his career as he pitched six complete innings as he earned a no decision. Waller allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout.
The Bruins continued the back and forth affair as they tied the game at 5-5 with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning, both coming off of Upstate's relief pitcher Chris Knauff.
Both teams went scoreless until the bottom of the 10th when Richardson homered on a 1-2 count with one out to lift Upstate to the 6-5 victory.
Richardson led the Spartans with a 3-for-5 effort at the dish with two runs and two RBI. Meanwhile, Liput and Way each picked up two hits and combined for two runs and two RBI.
Belmont 5, Upstate 1 (DH Game 2)
In game two of Saturday's doubleheader, the Spartans managed just four hits and scored just one run as Belmont claimed the series by a 2-1 margin. The series victory by the Bruins was the fourth straight by Belmont since the two teams began A-Sun play in 2008.
Belmont posted a single run in the top of the third and fourth innings to take the 2-0 lead, a lead the Bruins never relinquished.
The Spartans struggled at the plate all game and it wasn't until the bottom of the fifth inning that the team picked up their first hit of the game. The first hit of the game came when Luke Weber doubled to the gap in left center. Weber later advanced to third and scored on a throwing error by Belmont pitcher, Josh Davis.
The errant throw by Davis resulted in Branden Millhouse (Summerville, S.C.) and Anthony Vacca (Fonthill, Ontario) being able to advance to second and third, respectively, when the ball wound up inside the tarp along the fence down the third baseline. A groundout and a lineout wrapped around an intentional pass to Blake Green ended the Spartan threat in the fifth.
Belmont pushed the lead to three (4-1) in the sixth when Nate Woods doubled to left center, allowing Dylan Craig and Derek Hamblen to cross home plate.
The Bruins added a single run in the ninth to set the finally tally at 5-1.
Davis picked up the win for the Bruins and improved to 3-0 on the campaign after pitching eight full innings giving up two hits and one run (unearned) with two walks and four strikeouts. Upstate starter David Roseboom (Pattersonville, N.Y.) took the loss and falls to 0-7 after allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings of work.
Weber had two of the Spartans' four hits in the series finale and the rookie scored the only run of the game for Upstate.
The Spartans will return to action on Tuesday night when they face ETSU in a non-conference match-up at Harley Park with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m.