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CHARLESTON, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team showed no signs of rust Wednesday evening after an 11-day break, scoring eight runs off 13 hits to pick up an 8-7 comeback victory at Charleston Southern University in non-conference action.
The Spartans (25-22) snap a three-game skid and avoid their first four-game losing streak of the year with the victory, while the Bucs (19-28) come up short in their bid to sweep the season series from Upstate after defeating the Spartans 9-3 on April 10.
With two outs and the bases empty in the second inning, Upstate rallied with three consecutive singles, capped by an infield base knock from Erik Samples to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
Upstate added to that lead in the fourth with a solo home run to left field by Daniel Seeba and a two-run single up the middle from Tyler Lesch to put a lid on a three-run inning and give the Spartans a 4-0 lead.
That four-run advantage was quickly erased in the fifth inning when the Upstate defense committed two crucial throwing errors and Charleston Southern capitalized with five unearned runs off four hits to take its first lead of the day at 5-4.
Facing their first deficit of the game, the Spartans bounced right back in the sixth inning and scored four more runs on four hits to jump back in front 8-5. Luke Weber tallied a two-run double in the frame, while Trey Richardson capped the big inning with a double of his own to give Upstate a three-run lead.
The Bucs answered with two runs in the last of the seventh, but the Upstate bullpen shut down Charleston Southern and gave the Spartans an 8-7 victory.
Chris Cox (5-3) earned his third straight victory in 6.1 innings of work, allowing just two earned runs and adding six strikeouts. Josh Howard and Gaither Bumgardner retired CSU in the seventh and eighth innings, while Chad Sobotka earned his seventh save of the season with a scoreless ninth frame. The save for Sobotka gave him 19 for his career and puts him just one save shy of tying the program's all-time record.
Brody Greer used a third-inning single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, while Weber sent his hit-streak to eight games and now has seven multi-hit games in the last eight contests.
The Spartans return to action over the weekend, traveling to the Peach State to battle Kennesaw State in a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference Series. First pitch Friday is slated for 6 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. start Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Stillwell Stadium.