Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team posted an 11-9 come-from-behind victory over La Salle in game one of its doubleheader Saturday afternoon from Harley Park. La Salle evened the series 1-1 following a 12-5 win in game two.
In game one, La Salle struck first and pushed across three runs in the top of the second, capitalizing on one Upstate error that resulted in two unearned runs. Right fielder Justin Korenblatt led off the inning with a single through the left side before stealing second to move into scoring position. Kevin Conroy followed with a single to left field to plate Korenblatt with the game's first run. After Jack Meeker reached on an error on the Upstate infield, Meeker came around to score two batters later on a double play ground out from George Smith. Kevin Baron added an RBI single for the second unearned run of the frame.
Baron picked up his second RBI of the game in the fourth inning when his two-out single through the left side drove in catcher Ryan Welling from second.
Upstate (7-9) cut the Explorer lead in half with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshman Zach Krider opened the inning with a single up the middle and took second when Luke Weber was hit by a pitch. Three batters later, Daniel Seeba laced a single through the left side to drive in Weber from second. Justin Allen followed with a single to right-center field, allowing Dowling to race home from second.
La Salle answered with two runs in the fifth inning, as Cameron Johnson, Mark Williams and Korenblatt began the inning with back-to-back-to-back doubles to put the Explorers ahead 6-2. A two-out, two-run triple to right-center from Dowling in the bottom half pulled Upstate to within 6-4.
The Spartan offense erupted for six runs in the sixth inning to take its first lead of the game. Allen drew a walk to start the inning and advanced to second when Daniel Fickas was hit by a pitch. After a groundout advanced both runners, Erik Samples smacked a double to left to bring home both Allen and Fickas. Krider laced a double of his own in the next at-bat and brought home Samples to put the Spartans ahead for good. Seeba added two more RBIs later in the inning with a double to left-center field.
Upstate added an insurance run in the eighth inning when AJ Mackey scored on a fielder error on Baron.
Spartan starter David Roseboom (1-2) picked up his first win of the year after pitching six innings and collecting four strikeouts. Jordan Miller pitched the final two innings and earned his first career save.
La Salle reliever Freddy Andujar fell to 0-5 after giving up three runs on one hit while recording just one out.
La Salle (2-12) struck first again in game two, picking up two runs in the top of the first on RBIs from Johnson and Korenblatt. Upstate responded with a run in the bottom half when Samples scampered home on a throwing error on catcher Nick Tierno.
The Explorers exploded for six runs in the top of the second to open up an 8-1 lead. Upstate, however, used two hits and the benefit of two errors to answer with four runs in the bottom of the second. Both Samples and Krider picked up RBIs during the inning.
In the top of the sixth inning, La Salle essentially put the game out of reach by scoring four runs to go ahead 12-5. The Explorers used four hits and two Upstate errors to account for the runs.
La Salle starter Shane Hollman earned the win after allowing five runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings of work. Hollman was awarded the win despite pitching only four innings because the game was predetermined by both coaching staffs to last only seven innings. Adam Cherry recorded his second save of the season after pitching the final three innings.
Upstate starter Zac Manuppelli (2-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on two hits in 1.1 innings on the hill.
Upstate and La Salle put the finishing touches on the series tomorrow with the rubber game schedule to begin at 12 p.m.