March 1, 2014

Spartans Beat Bryant in Extra Inning Thriller

Box Score (PDF)

Spartanburg, S.C.AJ Mackey's walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the USC Upstate baseball team to an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Bryant Saturday afternoon from Harley Park.

USC Upstate (5-6) mounted a two-out rally in the final inning when first baseman Zach Krider reached on a single to left field before second baseman Daniel Seeba followed with a single to right to move Krider to third base. Mackey picked up his third hit and third RBI of the afternoon when he slapped the 1-2 pitch through the right side to bring home Krider from third.

Bryant (1-4) capitalized on four USC Upstate errors, turning those miscues into four unearned runs on its way to building a 7-2 lead after the Bulldogs tacked on two runs in the top of the ninth inning. The Spartans, however, erupted for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 7-7 and force extra innings.

Erik Samples led off the ninth inning with a single through the left side and move to second on Luke Weber's bloop single to left. Krider loaded the bases when his second hits of the game found its way through the right side. After Bryant reliever Trevor Lacosse struck out Seeba for the first out, Mackey drew a walk to force in a run and pull Upstate within four runs. Lacosse answered with another strikeout for the second out, but Tyler Lesch laced a triple into right field to clear the bases and leave Upstate down 7-6. The Spartans tied the game on the next play when a fielding error on Brandon Bingle at third allowed Daniel Fickas to reach and Lesch to race home with the game-tying run.

Samples earned the win in relief and improved to 2-0 after allowing just one hit in two innings on the hill. Lacosse (0-1) surrendered three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of mound duty and took the loss. Upstate starter David Roseboom has another strong outing and gave up three runs (none earned) while striking out three in 6.2 innings of work. The Pattersonville, N.Y., native has allowed just two earned runs in 17.2 innings this season and lowered his ERA to 1.02.

Upstate struck first in the game and plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to go ahead 2-0. Krider began the inning with a walk and took second on a groundout from designated hitter Brian Thompson. Mackey followed with a single to left to plate Krider, and later came around to score on a double from Justin Allen.

Bryant responded with two unearned runs in the top of the sixth to knot the score at 2-2. Bulldog first baseman Robby Rinn picked up an RBI single in the inning and later scored on a throwing error charged to the Upstate infield. Bryant tacked on five more runs over the next three innings to pad its lead.

Upstate and Bryant will play the rubber match of the series Sunday at noon from Harley Park.

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