March 16, 2013

Spartans Battle Past Bucs to Even Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall,
 dbeall@uscupstate.edu

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team used stellar pitching, perfect defense and timely hitting to take down ETSU 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Harley Park to even the Atlantic Sun Conference series with the Buccaneers.

The Spartans (11-6, 1-1 A-Sun) snap a season-long three-game skid with the win, while the Bucs (11-5, 1-1 A-Sun) have now lost four of their last five games against Upstate in the all-time series.

After going 15 consecutive innings without scoring a run, the Upstate offense broke through in the opening frame when Jordan Stampler was hit by a pitch and came around to score when Tyler Lesch lined a single down the left field line to plate the first run of the game. The first-inning single gave Lesch 13 consecutive games of reaching base.

The Spartans tallied another run in the second inning, benefiting from an ETSU throwing error to bring Erik Samples racing home and double the Upstate lead to 2-0.

"That was a much better job today with the bats," said USC Upstate Head Coach Matt Fincher. "It seemed like batting practice was more purposeful today and I think they understand we didn't play very well last night so they came out and did a much better job and hopefully it carries over into tomorrow."

David Roseboom battled out of all kinds of trouble early, stranding six ETSU runners through the first three innings, including escaping a bases loaded jam in the third frame. 

The Spartans created some breathing room in the fourth when a trio of hits, including a pair of triples, led to three more Upstate runs. Brody Greer led off the frame with a triple to left-center and came around to score when Robbie Morris lined a single to center field for his fourth RBI of the year. Stampler recorded a triple of his own two batters later and came around to score on a groundout by Gaither Bumgardner to give Upstate a commanding 5-0 lead.

ETSU picked up a run in the fifth inning, but the Spartans got it right back in the sixth frame when Tyler Miller led off with Upstate's third triple of the day and came trotting home on groundout to make it 6-1. 

The Buccaneers rallied with a pair of runs in the seventh, but Erik Samples came on in relief and tossed a scoreless frame and Chad Sobotka recorded the final four outs on the mound to pick up his third save of the season.

Roseboom (4-0) lasted 6.0 innings and gave up one run on five hits, while walking six and striking out three ETSU batters to earn his fourth consecutive victory. 

The rubber game of the series is set for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Harley Park as both clubs are eyeing their first conference series victory of the year.

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