SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the first time in program history the USC Upstate baseball team has taken a series against a power-five opponent, with a 13-4 win over Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at Harley Park.
With the victory the Spartans improve to 7-8 on the season and Rutgers falls to 3-9 on the year.
Top 1st: USC Upstate starting pitcher Jacob Thiessen retired the first two batters of the inning and appeared to be on his way to a 1-2-3 inning. Tim Dezzi drew a full count walk and advanced to second on a single Tyler McNamara. Kevin Welsh then hit an RBI single to left field to score the Scarlet Knight's first run of the contest.
Bottom 2nd: Jake Bourke began the inning with walk and advanced to second on an infield single by Jack Hennessy. Robby McGaha then executed a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Davis Wilber walked to load up the bases with only one out in the inning. Jason Matthews reached on a fielder's choice and tied the game at 1-1. J.J. Shemko then stepped up and belted a two-run double to right center field to give the Spartans a 3-1 advantage.
Bottom 3rd: The Spartans batted around in the third inning and scored 7 runs off 6 hits. Julian Rip began the inning with a bunt single down the third base line. A batter later Bourke reached on a walk and then both runners moved up 90 feet after a pass ball by Rutgers. Hennessy then smacked a two-RBI single up the middle of the infield to give the Spartans a 5-1 lead. In the next at bat McGaha tripled to left center field and came around to score on a throwing error by the Scarlet Knight's shortstop. The Spartan offense was not done however, Davis Wilber singled down the left field line and Matthews followed it up with a double to left field. With two outs in the inning Andres Kim ripped a two-run double to right center field to push the Spartan lead to eight runs. Kim eventually came around to score on a wild pitch to end the inning for USC Upstate. When it was all said and done the Spartans held a 10-1 advantage over Rutgers.
Bottom 5th: With two outs in the inning Julian Rip ripped a ball over the left center field fence to give the Spartans an 11-1 lead. It was just the second homerun of the season for the Spartans offense.
Top 7th: Dezzi singled to the pitcher to begin the inning after he smashed the ball off Thiessen's ankle. Thiessen remained in the game however. McNamara doubled to left center to give the Scarlet Knights a pair of runners in scoring position. Welsh hit an RBI single to left center to score the Scarlet Knights first run since the opening frame. Garrett French then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score the second run of the inning.
Bottom 8th: Rip singled to center field to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. One batter later and Bourke singled up the middle. Hennessy hit a hard ground ball over to third base, the third basemen threw the ball away and Rip was able to score on the play. McGaha then produced an RBI knock to end the Spartans scoring for the game.
Top 9th: Andy Axelson singled up the middle to start out of the top of the ninth inning. Peter Serruto then doubled to right center and Adam Holland hit a sacrifice fly to center field to end the scoring for the game.
- Julian Rip went 3-for-4 at the plate with a trio of runs, an RBI and his first homerun of the season.
- J.J. Shimko, Andres Kim, Jack Hennessy and Robby McGaha all had a pair of RBI hits in the contest.
- Jacob Thiessen earned his first victory of the season, Thiessen threw 7.0 innings, allowing just 3 runs to cross on 6 hits. Thiessen also picked up his first strikeouts of the season in the victory.
- Kevin Welsh led the Scarlet Knights in hitting, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two-RBI's in the contest.
- Tevin Murray was hit with the loss after giving up 3 earned runs in 2.0 innings of action.
- USC Upstate will remain at home this week with a pair of mid-week games against Davidson and Furman. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m.
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