Cox Tosses Gem as Spartans Blank Charlotte

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Contact: David Beall,
 dbeall@uscupstate.edu

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team used a complete-game shutout from Chris Cox Wednesday evening to cruise by Charlotte 6-0 at Harley Park in non-conference action.

The Spartans (17-11) are starting to find their stride midway through the season, picking up their fourth consecutive win as they now hit the road for three straight conference games over the weekend.

Cox (2-2) was on point in the early going, allowing just one hit through the first four frames, an infield single in the second inning, but the senior stranded the base runner on third to end the stanza.

The Spartans got all the offense they would need in the fourth inning when Gaither Bumgardner reached on an error and Tyler Lesch promptly followed and extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double down the right field line to give Upstate a 1-0 lead.

Trey Richardson came to the dish later in the inning and launched his team-leading sixth home run of the season to left field, a solo shot to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.

Upstate came right back in the fifth and added three insurance runs, using a two-run single up the middle by Tyler Miller and a single through the left side by Bumgardner to cap a three-run frame.

Bumgardner tacked on another RBI hit in the seventh, a liner to right center to give Upstate a 6-0 advantage, a lead that held true to the final out.

Cox made that lead stand up with stifling work in the late innings, setting the 49ers (17-11) down in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, while squeaking out of a jam in the ninth to seal the complete-game shutout. With pitch No. 100 on the night, Cox forced Brett Lang to lineout out to right field to end the game and give Upstate a 6-0 victory. Cox allowed just four hits in the game, while striking out four and walking one.

The Spartans open a three-game weekend series Friday evening at Lipscomb, traveling to the Music City to take on the Bisons in A-Sun action. First pitch Friday is slated for 6 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. start Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

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