SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Jeff Taylor's two homerun, four RBI day was not enough as USC Upstate fell 7-6 to Gardner-Webb University on Saturday afternoon at Harley Park.
The Spartans fell to 11-15 on the season and 2-6 in Big South Conference play. Gardner-Webb improved to 12-11 and 4-4 in conference competition.
Top 1st: Justin Kunz hit a one out double to left field and advanced to third on a fielder's choice, two batters later. Corey Howard then singled to center field to bring in the opening run for Gardner-Webb. Ben Rowdon then laced a two-run single up the middle of the infield to give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage.
Bottom 1st: J.J. Shimko began the game with a single to left field, but was thrown out at second base trying to stretch his single into a double. Stone Pellegrino then singled up the middle and Andres doubled through the right side of the infield to put a pair of Spartans in scoring position. Julian Rip walked to load up the bases and Garett Wallace hit a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Spartans on the scoreboard. Kim came around to score on a wild pitch to end the scoring for USC Upstate in the bottom of the first.
Top 2nd: Spartans starting pitcher Trey Van Der Weide gave up a pair of walks to begin the inning with a pair of walks. Chris Clary came around to score on an error by the Spartans first baseman.
Bottom 5th: Wallace reached base on a one out single through the middle of the infield. Jeff Taylor then cranked a two-run homerun down the right field line, tying the game at four.
Bottom 7th: Kim drew a full count walk to being the inning for the Spartans. With two outs in the inning, Taylor blasted his second two-run homerun of the game over the right field fence. The homerun gave the Spartans a 6-4 cushion heading into the final two innings of action.
Top 8th: Mitch McLendon walked with two outs in the inning to keep the frame alive for Gardner-Webb. Colton Sakamoto hit a two-run homerun to right center field to tie the game at six. Clary followed up Sakamoto's homerun with a solo shot of his own to give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 7-6 lead.
- Jeff Taylor went 3-for-3 at the plate, with a pair of homeruns, four RBI's and two runs scored.
- J.J. Shimko led the team with a 4-for-5 day at the plate and Garett Wallace had a multi-hit performance with an RBI knock.
- Sean Hupp pitched 5.2 innings of relief, giving up 3 earned runs on 5 hits. Hupp also struck out 8 batters on 94 pitches.
- Corey Howard and Ben LaSpaluto both had multi-hit games for Gardner-Webb, while Ben Rowdon and Colton Sakamoto led the team with two-RBI's each.
- Jarrett Thompson was credited with the win after throwing 2.0 innings of shutout baseball.
- USC Upstate will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon against Gardner-Webb. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Harley Park.
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