FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, firstname.lastname@example.org
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After dropping back-to-back extra-inning games in walk-off fashion, the USC Upstate baseball team proved resilient in Sunday's series finale, scoring seven first-inning runs on its way to a 17-9 victory over FGCU at Swanson Stadium in Atlantic Sun Conference action.
The Spartans (23-18, 8-10 A-Sun) salvage the series finale and avoid their first three-game sweep of the year, while the Eagles (22-14, 8-7 A-Sun) suffer their second worst loss of the season in the eight-run defeat.
The Spartans benefited from the control issues of FGCU starter Brandon Bixler in the early going, as he issued four consecutive walks and then balked to give Upstate a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
After being spotted a pair of runs without the benefit of a hit, the Spartans started to heat up at the plate, recording five consecutive hits, including a three-run blast from Luke Weber and a two-run single off the bat of Gaither Bumgardner to cap a seven-run first inning.
Upstate added to its lead in the third inning and again it came off the bat of Bumgardner who guided a two-out two-run single to right field to give the Spartans a commanding 9-0 lead.
After FGCU broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, the Upstate bats were at it again in the fourth and Brody Greer singled through the left side to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and later came around to score on a Trey Richardson RBI base knock to hand the Spartans a 10-2 after four innings.
Upstate would add three runs in the fifth on RBI hits from Daniel Seeba and Weber, before a run in the sixth and three more in the eighth, while FGCU added a pair of runs in the seventh and five more in the ninth to give Upstate a 17-9 victory.
Gaither Bumgardner (5-1) picked up the win, tossing 7.0 innings and giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while walking one and adding six strikeouts. Jordan Rusk worked a scoreless eighth inning, while Reid Noah gave up five runs in the ninth but recorded the final three outs to end the game.
The Spartans return to action with a pair of mid-week games, traveling to Greenville, S.C., and Fluor Field for a Tuesday neutral site matchup with Furman, before returning home Wednesday to host Gardner-Webb.