Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team was unable to erase a six-run deficit as the Spartans lost to NJIT 7-5 in ASUN Conference action at Harley Park on Thursday.
NJIT improves to 9-38 overall and 2-17 in league play while Upstate drops to 22-31 and 5-14.
- Top 2nd – Johnny Malatesta reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a Rex MacMillan double. The Highlanders hit back-to-back home runs as Matt Cocciadiferro hit a three-run home run followed by Jesse Uttendorfer with a solo home run for a 5-0 NJIT lead.
- Top 4th – Uttendorfer reached on a two-out double and scored on a Justin Etts single.
- Bottom 4th – Jake Bourke led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on an error before a Brendan Brundage bunt single loaded the bases. Bourke scored on a double play. Drake Harris reached on an error, scoring Hunter Gilbert. The Spartans added a run on a Pat Raiff single, an NJIT error and a Charlie Carpenter double.
- Top 9th – Cocciadiferro led off the inning with a double before a walk and hit batter loaded the bases. Cocciadiffero scored on a double play.
- Devon Ortiz went 3-for-5 with three singles and a run scored to lead the Spartans.
- Raiff went 2-for-4 with two singles and a RBI.
- Carpenter went 1-for-4 with a double and RBI.
- Bourke, Brundage, Brett Hawkins and Russell Schwertfeger each had a hit.
- Upstate outhit NJIT 10-8.
- Cocciadiferro, Uttendorfer and Etts each had two hits for the Highlanders. Those three players, who were the top three in the NJIT lineup, had six of the team's eight hits.
- Upstate left 11 runners on base while NJIT stranded seven baserunners.
- Andres Fernandez (2-3) earned the win, allowing two hits with a walk in 1.1 innings.
- Bryan Haberstroh (4) picked up the save, allowing a hit with two walks and a strikeout in 3.2 innings.
- Conner Campbell (3-5) allowed five unearned runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings.
- Upstate and NJIT continue the series tomorrow at 6 p.m.