DeLand, Fla. – Taylor Cockrell went 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs to lead Stetson to a 10-6 victory over USC Upstate Thursday night in game one of a three-game series from Melching Field.
Cockrell, who also served as Stetson's starting pitcher, helped his own cause in the bottom of the first with an RBI double to right field that plated Kevin Fagan. An RBI single from third baseman Kyle Pitts in the second inning gave the Hatters a 2-0 advantage.
Upstate capitalized on three walks and a hit by pitch in the sixth inning to plate three runs and take its first lead of the game. Erik Samples reached on a fielder's choice before Luke Weber was walked in the next at-bat to put runners on first and second.
After AJ Mackey was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Brian Thompson lifted a sacrifice fly into centerfield to plate Samples with the first Spartan run. Justin Allen then drew a walk to load the bases, and Stephen Dowling laced a single through the left side thereafter to give Upstate a 3-2 lead.
Stetson regained the lead in the seventh inning on a two-run double to left field from shortstop Tyler Bocock to put the Hatters ahead 4-3. After an intentional walk to Patrick Mazeika loaded the bases, Cockrell, who remained in the game as the designated hitter after working five innings on the hill, put Stetson ahead 8-3 with a grand slam over the left field wall for his first home run of the year. Kyle Zech and Pitts added RBI singles later in the inning to cap the scoring.
Dowling picked up his third RBI of the night in the eighth inning with a single through the left side that scored Thompson. The Columbia, S.C., native tied a career-high with three hits and finished 3-for-5. The Spartans tacked on two more runs later in the frame on bases loaded walks to Daniel Seeba and Samples.
Kurt Schluter (2-1) picked up the win in relief after posting three strikeouts, two walks and no runs allowed in one inning on the hill. Tyler Warmouth picked up his ninth save of the season after yielding no runs on no hits in 1.2 innings of mound duty.
Zac Manuppelli (3-6) allowed five runs on eight hits to go along with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings on the hill and took the loss.
USC Upstate and Stetson continue a three-game series Friday at 6:30 p.m. from Melching Field.