FARMVILLE, VA. – The USC Upstate baseball team used a six-run fifth inning and an eight-run eighth inning to route Longwood University 16-2 on Friday night.
With the victory USC Upstate head coach Matt Fincher picked up win No. 498 of his career. The Spartans improve to 18-22 on the season and 6-12 in Big South competition. Longwood falls to 10-31 overall on the year and 4-15 in conference play.
Top 5th: Davis Wilber drew a leadoff walk to start out the inning and advanced to second on a Jeff Taylor single to centerfield. Andres Kim doubled to left center to bring in the first run of the ballgame and J.J. Shimko followed with an RBI single of his own to give the Spartans a 2-0 advantage. With two away in the inning Robby McGaha stepped to the plate and belted a three-run homerun over the left field wall to give the Spartans a 5-0 lead. One batter later and Jason Matthews doubled in the sixth run of the inning.
Bottom 6th: Cullan Wadsworth homered down the left field line on the first pitch of the sixth inning to give the Lancers their first run of the game.
Top 7th: A pair of walks to Jason Matthews and Jeff Taylor put a pair of Spartan runners on with one out in the inning. The Spartans loaded up the bases after Kim was plunked by a pitch on a 2-2 count. In the next at-bat Matthews came around to score on a wild pitch.
Bottom 7th: Nate Blakeney doubled to right center field to begin the bottom of the seventh inning, one batter later and Blakeney came around to score on an error by the Spartans shortstop.
Top 8th: After a leadoff walk by Stone Stephenson, Drake Harris came into the game to pinch run and he stole second to get into scoring position for USC Upstate. Julian Rip singled and McGaha walked to load up the bases. Jake Bourke hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the eighth run of the game for the Spartans. Matthews walked to keep the bases loaded, Davis Wilber smacked an RBI single through the right side of the infield and Jeff Taylor roped a two-run double down the right field line. Leading 11-2 the Spartan offense was not done as Shimko and Drake Harris both had a pair of RBI hits, giving USC Upstate a 15-2 lead.
Top 9th: Bourke hit an infield single to lead-off the ninth inning. Back-to-back singles by Wilber and Taylor loaded up the bases for the Spartans. Kim took advantage and collected an RBI knock in the final inning of action.
- J.J. Shimko went 3-for-4 at the plate collecting a trio of RBI's and a pair of runs scored in the game. Shimko now has five consecutive multi-hit games.
- Jeff Taylor ended the night with a 3-for-6 night at the plate with a pair of runs and a pair of RBI's in the contest. Andres Kim contributed a pair of hits, runs and RBI's in the win for USC Upstate.
- Robby McGaha went 1-for-3 at the plate with a trio of RBI's and a pair of runs scored. Davis Wilber collected a pair of hits, a pair of runs and an RBI in the game.
- Drake Harris went 1-for-1 off the bench with a pair of RBI's. Julian Rip, Jake Bourke and Jason Matthews also collected a hit and an RBI in the contest.
- On the mound Jordan Marks collected his fourth win of the season, throwing 7.0 innings of six hit baseball. The sophomore allowed just 1 earned run on the night and struck out a career high 9 strike outs.
- Caleb Matthews and Jacob Thiessen each threw and inning of shutout baseball to finish out the game for the Spartans.
- USC Upstate and Longwood will play game two of the series at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.
Follow USC Upstate baseball on Facebook (UpstateAthletics), Twitter (@UpstateBSB), Instagram (@upstatespartans), YouTube (USCUpstateAthletics) and text/e-mail alerts (www.upstatespartans.com/list-signup).