SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team won their first weekend series of the season with a 10-7 win in game one of Saturday's doubleheader at Harley Park. The Spartans were unable to complete the sweep however as fell 2-1 in the night cap.
After Saturday's split with Ohio the Spartans are now 5-6 overall on the season and the Bobcats are now 2-8 on the year.
Game One: Ohio 7, USC Upstate 10
Top 1st: Ohio's Trevor Lukkes hit a one out single to left field to put a runner on for the Bobcats. Rudy Rott then hit a double to right center to bring in the first run of the game.
Bottom 1st: Griffin Zito drew a leadoff walk to begin the inning for the Spartans. Julian Rip then moved Zito over to second on a sacrifice bunt and Andres Kim reached on an error to put a pair of runners into scoring position. Robby McGaha then walked to load up the bases, Jake Bourke then singled through the right side of the infield to tie the game at 1-1.
Top 4th: Tanner Piechnick was plunked with a pitch with one out in the inning and advanced to second on a pass ball. Piechnick eventually made his way to third base and scored on a Trevor Hafner single to left field.
Bottom 4th: The Spartans answered back in the bottom half of the inning. Drake Harris leadoff the inning with a bunt single, Garett Wallace then reached on an infield single to put a pair of runners on the base paths for USC Upstate. Jack Hennessy then tied the game up at two with a double down the left field line. The go ahead run then came in for the Spartans on an error by the shortstop.
Top 5th: The top of the order for the Bobcats hit three consecutive singles to load up the bases with one out in the inning. Piechnik then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to tie the game at 3-3.
Top 6th: Aaron Levy leadoff the inning with a double to left center and he advanced to third on a Hafner sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Nathan Mallott then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in the go ahead run for Ohio.
Bottom 6th: Garett Wallace doubled to left field to begin the inning, Hennessy drew a walk and Hunter Hice flied out to centerfield to move Wallace over to third base. Zito came through with an RBI single to tie the game at four and moments later Julian Rip smashed an RBI double to left center field to give the Spartans a 5-4 edge.
Top 7th: Lukkes reached base on a one out single, Rudy Rott then gave Ohio the lead back with a homerun to right center field.
Bottom 7th: The Spartans offense batted around in the bottom of the seventh inning. Three consecutive one out singles set the stage for Austin Morgan. Morgan then smoked a ball through the left side of the infield to tie the game at 6-6. Zito then hit the go ahead sacrifice fly to give the Spartans the lead and Rip singled to center field to tack on an insurance run for USC Upstate. Moments later McGaha ripped a two-run single into center field to break the game wide open. When it was all said and done the Spartans had scored five runs and led 10-6.
Top 9th: An error allowed Piechnick to reach first with one out in the inning. Sargent then singled through the left side to put runners on first and second. Piechnick then came around to score on an error by the second baseman. Game one ended on a 5-4-3 double play.
- Garett Wallace led the Spartans offense with a 3-for-5 day at the plate and had a trio of runs in the process.
- Julian Rip, Robby McGaha and Jack Hennessy all had two hit days, with Rip and McGaha both recording a pair of RBI knocks.
- Griffin Zito led the USC Upstate offense with a trio of RBI's in the first game of the Saturday double header.
- Ben Ferrer picked up his second win of the season, while Sean Hupp recorded his third save of the year.
- Rudy Rott led the Ohio offense with a 3-for-5 day at the plate and had a trio of RBI's in the process.
- Matt Brosky was credited with the loss after giving up five earned runs in 1.2 innings.
Game Two: Ohio 2, USC Upstate 1
Top 1st: Trevor Lukkes began the game with a bunt single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a fly out by Levy moved Lukkes over to third base, Lukkes came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Rudy Rott.
Top 2nd: Ryan Sargent began the inning by being hit by a pitch. A batter later and Sargent stole second with one out in the inning to give the Bobcats a runner in scoring position. Sargent advanced to third on a fly out by Hafner and scored on an RBI single from Sebastian Fabik. The Bobcats tried to push another run across but the Spartans threw Fabik out at home 9-5-2.
Bottom 9th: Going into the final half inning of play USC Upstate trailed by a pair of runs. Zito began the inning by reaching second on a throwing error by the third baseman. Rip then doubled to center field to bring Zito in from second base. A few batters later Drake Harris stepped to the plate looking to play hero for the second night in a row. With the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, Harris grounded out to the shortstop to end the game.
- Julian Rip and Garett Wallace each had a pair of hits in the contest for the Spartans.
- Rudy Rott and Sebastian Fabik both had RBI knocks for Ohio in the second game of the doubleheader.
- Jacob Thiessen was credited with the loss, while Jack Liberatore picked up the win and Brett Manis recorded the save.
- USC Upstate plays cross town rival Wofford this coming Wednesday night at Wofford.
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