ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team saw a two game winning streak come to a close as the Spartans lost 7-6 in 10 innings to UNC Asheville on Saturday afternoon at Greenwood field.
USC Upstate falls to 9-10 on the season, while UNC Asheville improves to 6-12 on the year.
Top 2nd: Drake Harris was plunked on a 2-1 pitch to begin the start of the inning and moved over to second base on an infield single by J.J. Shimko. A few batters later Austin Morgan drew a walk to load up the bases for the Spartans and set the stage for Jason Matthews. Matthews extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 2-RBI base knock through the right side of the infield. Jack Hennessy ended up being the second hit batter of the inning as USC Upstate once again loaded up the bases. Morgan came around to score on a wild pitch to give USC Upstate a 3-0 advantage.
Bottom 2nd: Carmine Pagano singled to right field with one out in the inning. Jake Madole for the second consecutive day hit a 2-run homerun over the left field fence to pull the Bulldogs within one of the Spartans.
Top 4th: Matthews reached base for the second time in Saturday's game with a leadoff walk to start out the fourth inning of action. Jeff Taylor was then promptly beaned in the next at bat to put a pair of runners on the base paths for USC Upstate. Following a pair of outs the Bulldogs looked as if they would get out of the inning without giving up a run. Then Harris stepped to the plate and singled back to the pitcher to give the Spartans a 4-2 cushion.
Bottom 5th: The Spartans pitching seemed to come unraveled in the fifth inning of action. USC Upstate gave up four runs off four hits and even had a pair of wild pitches thrown in. When the damage was all said and done the Spartans were on their third pitcher of the afternoon and trailed 6-4.
Top 6th: The Spartans offense quickly went back to work as Taylor smashed a double to left field to leadoff the inning for USC Upstate. One batter later and Julian Rip laced an RBI single into centerfield to pull the Spartans back within a run of UNC Asheville.
Top 8th: Trailing 6-5 the USC Upstate offense was looking to make something happen in the eighth inning. Andres Kim reached first on a fielding error by the pitcher and then moved over to second base on a sacrifice bunt form Rip. Stone Stephenson kept the inning alive with a single to the shortstop and moved Kim over to third base in the process. In the next at bat Bourke hit a routine ball over to the shortstop and the Bulldogs botched the play and allowed Kim to score the tying run from third.
Bottom 10th: Brandon Lankford doubled to centerfield to begin the bottom half of the 10th frame. USC Upstate then intentionally walked Danny Wilson to set up the double play ball. The game ended on a Sean Hupp error as Lankford came around to score the game winning run.
- Matthews keeps his hitting streak alive at 8 games with a pair of hits in Saturday's game and a pair of RBI's in the contest.
- Taylor, Harris and Stephenson all ended the day with multi-hit games for the Spartans offense.
- Madole led the UNC Asheville offense with a 2-for-3 day at the plate and a trio of RBI's in the contest.
- USC Upstate and UNC Asheville will play the final game of the three game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
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