SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team had a difficult time generating any offense against the VCU Rams on Saturday afternoon as the Rams took both games of the double header 7-4 and 14-2 at Harley Park.
With the loss the Spartans fall to 2-5 on the season, while VCU improves to 4-2 on the year.
Game One: VCU 7, UPST 4
Top 1st: USC Upstate starting pitcher Trey Van Der Weide appeared to be heading towards an easy one-two-three inning after retiring the first two batters on six pitches. Then the Rams hit back-to-back singles to keep the inning alive. A full count walk to Jack Schroeder loaded up the bases for VCU, Van Der Weide then walked in the first run of the game with a full count walk to Steve Carpenter.
Top 4th: VCU had three consecutive one out singles to bring in a pair of runs. Before the end of the inning Zac Ching hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Rams a 4-0 advantage in the contest.
Top 6th: Josh Simon doubled to left field to begin the inning. Tomas Sanchez then singled to left center to bring in the fifth run of the afternoon for the Rams. Sanchez eventually made his way over to third base and scored on a passed ball by the Spartans defense.
Bottom 6th: Trailing 6-0, Spartans leadoff hitter Robby McGaha took a 1-1 pitch and smacked hit over the right center field wall for the Spartans first home run of the season. Jack Hennessy then drew a full count walk to put a runner on the base paths. Two batters later and Stone Pellegrino hit an RBI triple to right field for the Spartans second run of the afternoon.
Bottom 7th: Davis Wilber was hit by a pitch to start out the inning and advanced to second on an infield single by J.J. Shimko. Jason Matthews then executed on a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position. Hennessy stepped to the plate with two outs in the inning and lined a two-run single into centerfield to bring the Spartans within a pair of runs of VCU.
Top 9th: VCU entered the top of the ninth inning leading 6-4, Paul Witt leadoff the inning with a double to left field. Liam Hibbits singled to left field in the next at bat and moved Witt over to third base. Josh Simon then drove in the insurance run for the Rams.
- Jack Hennessy went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of runs driven in to lead the USC Upstate offense.
- Robby McGaha's opposite field homerun was the first homerun of the season by a Spartan player.
- Josh Simon and Tomas Sanchez each had a pair of hits in the contest for the Rams, while Paul Witt led the team with a three-hit game.
- Trye Van Der Weide was hit with the loss after going five full innings and only giving up three earned runs.
- Justin Sorokowski picked up the win after pitching four complete innings and only allowed a hit in the contest.
Game Two: VCU 14, UPST 2
Bottom 1st: VCU starting pitcher Devin Dunn had a difficult time finding the strike zone as he walked the first three Spartan batters. Stone Pellegrino then grounded out to the shortstop to bring in the first run of the contest.
Top 3rd: The Spartans were cruising along in the first two innings then a three-run homerun by Zac Ching changed the momentum of the game. Liam Hibbits hit an RBI single to bring in another run later in the inning. Logan Amiss ended the scoring in the inning with a two-run blast to right field.
Top 4th: Brett Willet homered to right field on a full count to lead-off the inning and gave VCU a 7-1 lead.
Top 6th: Ching struck again in the top of the sixth inning with a two-RBI triple to right field.
Bottom 6th: Drake Harris drove in the final run of the afternoon for the Spartans.
Top 8th: Three out of four VCU players were hit by a pitch to start the inning. Brett Norwood then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the runner from third.
Top 9th: VCU added four runs off of four hits in the top half of the inning to end all scoring in the game.
- USC Upstate and VCU combined to plunk 10 batters in the contest. Kyle Schmitt hit four batters in the game for the Spartans, three of which came in the same inning. Schmitt was two away from setting an NCAA record for hit batters in an inning.
- VCU bonked four Spartan batters in the contest and set a new school record for USC Upstate in the process.
- Stone Pellegrino and Drake Harris both picked up RBI knocks in the loss.
- Zac Ching went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in 5 RBI's in game two. Brett Norwood ended the game going 3-for-5 with a trio of RBI's.
- Jack Alkire picked up the victory for the Rams after throwing four innings of one hit baseball.
- The Spartans will hit the road this coming Wednesday night as they travel to Davidson for a 6 p.m. first pitch.
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