SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team gave up a run in each of the final two innings on Monday afternoon and allowed Kansas to escape the Hub City with a 5-3 victory over the Spartans at Harley Park.
With the loss the Spartans and Jayhawks each own a 2-2 record on the season. For the first time in three seasons the Spartans end opening weekend with at least two wins.
Bottom 2nd: For the third consecutive game the Spartans were the first team score. Julian Rip led off the inning with a walk. Stone Pellegrino moved Rip over to second base on a ground out to first. Rip came around to score on an RBI single from Drake Harris.
Top 3rd: Casey Burnham drew a full count walk to lead-off the inning for the Jayhawks. Rudy Karre then hit an RBI triple to right center field to tie the game at one. A few batters later Jaxx Groshans hit a sacrifice fly to left field to give Kansas a 2-1 advantage.
Top 5th: Ben Ferrer came out of the bullpen on fire in the top of the fifth inning. The freshman relief pitcher struck out the first two batters he faced. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks No.3 hitter James Cosentino ruined the mood by hitting a solo shot over the right field wall, increasing Kansas' lead to 3-1. Ferrer, however, did end up striking out the final batter of the inning.
Bottom 6th: Andres Kim began the inning with an infield hit, Rip then followed with a full count walk. Pellegrino laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move a pair of Spartans into scoring position. Harris once again stepped to the plate and came up clutch for USC Upstate. The Spartans first baseman hit a two run single back up the middle of the infield tying the game at 3-3.
Top 8th: Brett Vosik hit a one out single to centerfield, Vosik represented the go-ahead run for the Jayhawks. With two-outs in the inning Grant Hoppock came in to pitch for the Spartans, after a pair of walks Hoppock was relieved by Johnathan Carlyle. Carlyle was unable to get out of the bases loaded jam and walked in the go-ahead run. Cosentino struck out swinging in the next at bat, but it was too late as the Jayhawks held a 4-3 advantage.
Top 9th: Groshans led off the inning with a full count walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch from Hupp. After a pair of strikeouts Vosik drew a four pitch walk to keep the inning alive. Dylan Ditzenberger hit an RBI single through the right side of the infield on a full count and ended the scoring for both sides in the game.
- Drake Harris was the offensive player of the game for USC Upstate. Harris went 3-for-4 at the plate with a trio of RBI's for the Spartans.
- In his first career start for the Spartans Kyle Schmitt threw 4.0 innings, allowed two runs on three hits and threw 69 total pitches in the outing.
- For Kansas, Rudy Karre went 1-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI knocks. Blake Goldsberry picked up the victory after an inning of two hit baseball.
- The Spartans will travel to Furman tomorrow night for their first road contest of the season.
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