SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For just the second time this season the USC Upstate baseball team shutout an opponent at Harley Park, Tuesday night the Spartans defeated Lafayette 5-0 in front of the hometown faithful.
With the victory the Spartans kick a two-game losing skid and improve to 10-11 on the season. Lafayette continues their losing skid and falls to 3-14 on the year.
Bottom 1st: Jeff Taylor hit a one out single up the middle in the bottom half of the first inning and then advanced to third on an Andres Kim double down the right field line. Julian Rip loaded up the bases on a four pitch walk and Taylor scored the opening run of the ball game on a wild pitch.
Bottom 2nd: With two away in the bottom of the second inning Austin Morgan smacked a 1-1 pitch back up the middle to keep the inning alive for the Spartans. Morgan then advanced all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt by the Lafayette pitcher. A hit batter later and Taylor singled in the second run of the contest for the Spartans.
Bottom 3rd: Drake Harris and Stone Stephenson had back-to-back one out singles in the bottom of the third inning. The duo were able to move up 90 feet after a passed ball went past the catcher. The Leopards were unable to find the strike zone as they threw eight consecutive balls and gave the Spartans a 3-0 lead.
Bottom 4th: Jason Matthews singled through the left side of the infield to begin the fourth inning of action. The Spartans played the hit and run to perfection a few batters later as Matthews was able to reach third on a single by Kim through the right side of the infield. With two outs in the inning Julian Rip ripped a single up the middle to give USC Upstate a 4-0 advantage.
Bottom 7th: Harris drew a full count walk to lead off the seventh inning and advanced to second base on a failed pickoff attempt by the catcher. Harris moved over on a Stephenson groundout to second and came around to score on a Robby McGaha sacrifice fly to right field.
- For the second consecutive game Jeff Taylor has had at least three hits in the ball game. Tonight, the sophomore went 3-for-4 at the plate with a run and an RBI in the contest.
- Andres Kim led the team with a 4-for-5 day at the plate and Austin Morgan was the only other Spartan with a multi-hit performance in the win for USC Upstate.
- Julian Rip, Robby McGaha and Garett Wallace all had an RBI in the contest for USC Upstate.
- Kyle Schmitt won his second game of the season after throwing 3.1 innings of shutout baseball. The right hander gave up just one hit on 54 pitches thrown and struck out two Leopards in the process.
- Jonathan Howlett threw 3.2 innings of shutout baseball and Caleb Matthews shut the door with two innings of scoreless work in the eighth and ninth.
- USC Upstate will play their first Big South Conference series at home this weekend against High Point University. First pitch for Friday night's game is set for 6:00 p.m. All games will be streamed on ESPN+ this weekend.
Follow USC Upstate baseball on Facebook (UpstateAthletics), Twitter (@UpstateBSB), Instagram (@upstatespartans), YouTube (USCUpstateAthletics) and text/e-mail alerts (www.upstatespartans.com/list-signup).