Spartans Come Up Short with Late Rally, Fall to Owls

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

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KENNESAW, Ga. – The USC Upstate baseball team put together a ninth-inning rally Saturday afternoon in game two of a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series, but Kennesaw State University held on for a 5-2 victory at Stillwell Stadium.

The Spartans (25-24, 8-15 A-Sun) drop their fifth consecutive conference contest, while the Owls (25-25, 12-11) win back-to-back A-Sun games for the first time since a three-game sweep of Northern Kentucky March 22-24.

Upstate had chances in the early going, stranding a runner on third in each of the first two innings to come up empty. KSU scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the second with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Alex Liquori and an RBI single by Brennan Morgan to give the Owls a 2-0 lead.

Kennesaw State doubled that lead in the fifth inning when Chris McGowan sent a two-out two-run triple to the gap in left center to give the Owls a 4-0 advantage.

After KSU added an insurance run in the seventh, the Spartans had a chance to put their first runs on the board in the eighth frame, but an inning-ending double play kept Upstate off the board.

The Spartans finally broke in the ninth inning when Brody Greer stepped the plate with his hitting streak on the line and guided a single up the middle to extend the streak to 18 games. Luke Weber followed and lined a double down the left field line to plate Greer and make it 5-1.

The hits kept coming in the ninth when Trey Richardson singled up the middle to cut the KSU lead to 5-2, but the Owls would slam the door right there to earn the victory.

Bumgardner (5-2) suffered the loss, tossing all 8.0 innings and giving up four earned run on 11 hits, while walking three and striking out two.

With three more hits in the contest, Luke Weber has now recorded eight multi-hit games in the last 10 contests.

Game three of the Atlantic Sun Conference series with the Owls is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Stillwell Stadium.

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