FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, firstname.lastname@example.org
GREENVILLE, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team scored five early runs Wednesday evening, but Furman University rallied back with six unanswered runs, including a walk-off single in the ninth to topple the Spartans 6-5 at Latham Stadium in non-conference action.
The Spartans (5-2) drop their first road contest of the year and see their four-game winning streak come to an end, while the Paladins (6-2) bounce back from a loss Tuesday at South Carolina and win their fifth game of the year at home.
After a scoreless first frame, Upstate jumped on top in the second inning when Trey Richardson unloaded on a 3-2 pitch and blasted his third home run of the year, a two run shot to left field to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
With hits in the second and third innings respectively, Richardson and Greer sent their hitting streaks to seven games to open the season.
Furman plated its first run of the game in the fourth inning, using a fielder's choice off the bat of Chris Ohmstede to cut into the Upstate lead and make it 5-1.
The Paladins continued their offensive surge in the fifth frame when Will Muzika lined an RBI double into the left field corner and Taylor Johnson followed two batters later and connected with a three-run home run to knot the score 5-5.
After both pitching staffs tossed up zeros in the sixth and seventh, Gaither Bumgardner walked the bases full of Paladins in the ninth, but the senior found his stride and tallied back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
Furman mounted another rally in the ninth, this time on Upstate closer Chad Sobotka who faced Paul Nitto with two outs and runners on the corners. After fouling off three pitches, Nitto turned on the seventh pitch of the at-bat and drilled a liner down the left field line past a diving Tyler Lesch to send Furman into celebration with a 6-5 walk-off victory.
Sobotka (0-1) suffered the loss in 0.2 innings of work, while five other Upstate pitchers saw action, including starter Chris Cox who tossed 4.1 innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on four hits.
Augenstein, Samples and Bumgardner all worked scoreless frames, while Reid Noah gave up a run on one hit to close out the fifth inning.
The Spartans return to action over the weekend, welcoming Dayton and Marshall to town for a trio of games at Harley Park. Upstate will battle Marshall Friday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and take on Dayton Saturday at 1 p.m.