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DELAND, Fla. – The No. 8 seed USC Upstate baseball team used a three-hit masterpiece on the mound from Brandon Lee Thursday afternoon to roll past Stetson University 6-0 and secure the program's first-ever victory in the Atlantic Sun Baseball Championships.
After being eliminated from the A-Sun Championship with a two-hit shutout by Stetson a year ago, the Spartans (27-29) got revenge as Lee rose to the occasion tossed a three-hit gem to silence the Hatters (26-31) and send Upstate to its first Division I postseason victory in program history.
"The story of the day was Brandon Lee and he was the right guy at the right time, said USC Upstate Head Coach Matt Fincher. "He kept the ball down, changed speeds, hit his spots and did everything you could ask for. I don't think I have seen a better complete game pitched than that in many many years."
Upstate advances in the loser's bracket and will play in game nine of the championship Friday at 1:15 p.m. The Spartans will take on the loser of tonight's ETSU/Mercer game at 8:15 p.m.
Lee (7-6) was in control all afternoon, allowing three hits and one walk, while striking out five. The senior faced just four batters over the minimum, giving up hits in the third, seventh and ninth innings on his way to his second win of the year against Stetson after defeating the Hatters at home on April 12.
The Spartans got all the offense they would need in the opening frame, using a trio of first-inning singles, including a two-out bouncer up the middle by Tyler Lesch to plate Gaither Bumgardner and give the Spartans a 1-0 first-inning lead.
Upstate produced some more two-out magic in the fourth inning when Daniel Seeba walked, moved to third on a single by Trey Richardson and scored on a roped single to left by Tyler Miller to give the Spartans a 2-0 advantage.
The Spartans broke it wide open in the ninth as Luke Weber drilled a two-run double to left center to make it 4-0, and Brody Greer and Seeba followed with RBI hits to give Upstate all the runs they would need a 6-0 victory.
With its first Division I postseason victory in hand, Upstate will now turn its attention to Friday and another elimination game at the A-Sun Championship.