Spartans Walk-Off a Winner in Rubber Game with La Salle
Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth on its way to a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over La Salle Sunday afternoon from Harley Park in the rubber game of the series.
After La Salle went ahead 5-4 in the top of the ninth, Upstate got back-to-back-to-back singles from Zach Krider, Luke Weber and Erik Samples to load the bases with nobody out in the home half of the inning. A force out at home erased Krider from the base paths, but AJ Mackey followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Weber and tie the game 5-5. In the next at-bat, a grounder off the bat of Daniel Seeba went right through the legs of La Salle shortstop Kevin Baron, allowing Samples to score with the game-winning run.
Samples picked up his third victory of the year after striking out both batters he faced in the ninth inning. Upstate starter Dylan Parker pitched his best game of the season, lasting 6.1 innings and allowing just two earned runs while striking out four.
Shawn O'Neill (1-2) took the loss in relief after surrendering four runs (three earned) on nine hits in six innings on the mound.
USC Upstate (8-9) scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first, using consecutive two-out singles from Krider, Weber and Samples to take an early 1-0 lead. La Salle tied the score in the top of the third on an RBI single from Mark Williams.
The Spartans took the lead right back in their half of the third on a groundout from Weber. Brian Thompson and Krider opened the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners, setting up the scoring opportunity for Weber.
Upstate tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning to open up a 4-1 lead. Seeba started things with a one-out single up the middle before stealing second. Tyler Lesch delivered an RBI single through the right side to drive home Seeba. After Lesch swiped second base, Thompson smacked a double to left-center field to plate Lesch.
An RBI single from George Smith in the fifth and a run on a fielder's choice in the seventh allowed La Salle to pull within 4-3. The Explorers took advantage of an Upstate fielding error in the eighth to knot the game 5-5 before taking their first lead with a run in the ninth.
Krider finished with a career-high four hits to lead a Spartan offensive attack that collect 13 hits. Thompson, Weber, Samples and Seeba each had a pair of hits for Upstate.
Upstate returns to action Tuesday at 6 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Charleston, S.C., to take on Charleston Southern.