Lesch’s Walk-off Lifts Upstate Past Butler

Lesch’s Walk-off Lifts Upstate Past Butler

Box Score (PDF)

Spartanburg, S.C.Tyler Lesch's two-out, two-run double to center lifted USC Upstate to a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Butler Sunday afternoon from Harley Park.

Butler (1-4) broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the ninth inning when Nick Bartolone doubled to left field to drive in the go-ahead run. Marcos Calderon opened the inning with a single through the right side and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Will Amador. Quincy Quintero followed with a single to left to put runners on the corners before Bartolone lifted the 3-1 pitch in the left field gap. Erik Samples was then called upon to pitch and struck out Austin Miller looking and retired Marco Caponi on a fly out to right field to limit the damage any further.

In the bottom of the ninth, Daniel Seeba reached on a one-out single up the middle and moved to second when Dylan Woods followed with a single into left. After Butler pitcher Kyle Allen fanned Justin Allen, Lesch laced a laser into the left field gap to bring home Seeba and Woods. Lesch finished the game 4-for-6 with three RBIs and one run scored.

Butler scored the first run of the game in the top of the first on a two-out RBI single to left from first baseman Ryan Wojciechowski.

USC Upstate (4-4) took the lead in the bottom of the second inning as the Spartans plated a pair of runs. Back-to-back singles from Stephen Dowling and Daniel Fickas put the first two runners on, but Dowling was erased one batter later when he was forced out at third base on a fielder's choice. Two batters later, a throwing error on Caponi allowed Fickas to score and put Brian Thompson in scoring position at second base. Lesch followed with a single to left to bring home Thompson and put the Spartans ahead 2-1.

Upstate struck for three more runs in the fourth inning to go up 5-1. Thompson singled on the infield to start the inning and took third on a throwing error by Butler starting pitcher Peter Nyznyk. Allen ripped a single up the middle in the next at-bat to allow Thompson to score from third. Lesch kept things going thereafter with a double to put runners at second and third, and Samples followed with a double off the left field wall to drive in both runners.

Butler got all three runs back in the following half inning, using a home run from Pat Guinane and back-to-back-to-back doubles from Drew Small, Calderon and Amador to cut the Upstate lead to 5-4. The Bulldogs tied the game in the top of the seventh with an RBI single to right off the bat of Chris Maranto.

Samples (1-0) picked up the win after pitching the final two-thirds of the game. Upstate starter Dylan Parker went 4.2 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out four.

Allen (1-1) took the loss for Butler and gave up two runs on six innings in 4.2 innings of work.

Upstate returns to the diamond Tuesday at 4 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Rock Hill, S.C., to take on Winthrop from The Winthrop Ballpark.

Follow Upstate baseball all season long on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Support Those Who Support the Spartans