Spartans Fall to Wofford in Cross-Town Slugfest
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team came up on the short end of a high scoring affair Wednesday evening, as Wofford College pushed across a pair of seventh-inning runs to pull out a 12-11 victory at Harley Park in non-conference action.
The Spartans (13-10) have lost seven of their last 10 games and three straight against their cross-town rival, while the Terriers (12-14) build on their weekend series victory and have won four of their last five contests.
The offense came early and often for both clubs, as the Spartans and Terriers combined to score 13 runs over the first three innings. Wofford got things started in the opening frame with a trio of runs and Upstate responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame, using RBI base knocks from Brandon Patterson and Trey Richardson to knot the score at 3-3.
After Wofford added a two spot in the second frame to regain the lead, the Spartans answered the call again in the bottom half of the inning, scoring four runs on three hits, capped by a two-run blast from Luke Weber to put Upstate right back on top 7-5.
Upstate added single runs in the third and fourth innings, but the Terriers rallied for two runs of their own in the fourth to make it a 9-7 Spartan lead after four complete innings. The Terriers quickly erased the deficit in the fifth frame, scoring three more runs to take a 10-9 lead.
Trailing for the first time since the second inning, the Spartans found their offensive stride again in the sixth when Greer drilled a ball off the wall in left field to bring Tyler Miller and Richardson racing home and put Upstate right back in front at 11-10.
The Spartans handed all the momentum right back to the Terriers in the seventh as back-to-back walks to lead off the frame came back to haunt Upstate, when both runners came around to score to give Wofford the lead right back and make it 12-11.
The two-run seventh proved to be the difference as the Spartans came up empty over the final three innings to drop the first of two meeting with Wofford this season.
Erik Samples (0-1) suffered the loss after issuing both walks in the seventh inning that came around to score. Upstate used five pitchers in all, while Wofford sent nine different hurlers to the mound and Will Stillman (1-0) earned the win in 1.2 innings of work, while Eric Eck picked up his seventh save of the season with a perfect ninth.
The Spartans return to action Thursday evening, opening a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series against Northern Kentucky at Harley Park. First pitch against the Norse is set for 6 p.m.