FARMVILLE, VA. – The USC Upstate baseball team scored 8 runs in the top of the seventh inning to propel themselves to a 13-9 victory over Longwood University on Saturday afternoon.
With the win USC Upstate has now clinched their second Big South series of the season and head coach Matt Fincher inches one game closer to career win No.500. The Spartans improve to 19-22 overall and 7-12 in conference competition. Longwood falls to 10-32 overall on the season with the loss.
Bottom 1st: Carlos Garrido walked on four straight pitches to keep the inning alive for Longwood. Back-to-back singles by Nate Blakeney and Jack Schnell brought in the first run of the game for either side.
Top 4th: Senior J.J. Shimko walked to lead-off the top of the fourth inning and advanced to third on a double to left field by Garett Wallace. Julian Rip loaded up the bases with a walk and Robby McGaha tied the game with an RBI walk on a full count pitch. Back-to-back singles by Jake Bourke and Jason Matthews gave the Spartans a 4-1 lead going into the bottom half of the inning.
Bottom 4th: USC Upstate began to run into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jacob Mitchell singled to left field to begin the inning and advanced to scoring position on a Jawan McAllister walk. Mitchell came around to score on a bases loaded walk to Blakeney.
Bottom 6th: McAllister hit a leadoff single to left field and then advanced into scoring position on a ground out. With one out in the inning Tucker roped an RBI double into left center field to bring the Lancers within a single run of the Spartans. Garrido then laced an RBI single up the middle of the infield to tie the game at 4. Blakeney singled through the left side with one out in the inning to keep the Lancers in scoring position. Grant Keller singled to right center field with two outs in the inning to take a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning of action.
Top 7th: Wallace hit an infield single to the shortstop to begin the top of the seventh inning. One batter later McGaha singled up the middle and the Spartans had runners on the corner with only one out in the inning. After a Jake Bourke hit by pitch, Drake Harris came into the game to pinch run with the bases loaded for the Spartans. Matthews singled to left center field to tie the game at 5-5. Back-to-back RBI knocks by Stone Pellegrino and Jeff Taylor gave the Spartans a 7-5 lead. A Longwood throwing error allowed two more runs to cross the plate. A Shimko RBI double to left field gave USC Upstate a 10-5 lead and a Wallace two-run homerun over the left field wall gave the Spartans a commanding 12-5 lead.
Top 8th: Drake Harris singled to begin the top half of the eighth inning. One batter later he moved into scoring position on a Dario DeSantis walk. Jeff Taylor roped an RBI single through the left side of the infield to give the Spartans a key insurance run.
Bottom 8th: Tucker singled to left field and then advanced to into scoring position on a ground out to the second baseman. Blakeney hit a sacrifice fly to right center field and the Lancers scored their sixth run of the game. Schnell then singled to first and Keller doubled to right center field to keep the inning alive. Eric Crain smashed a two-run single up the middle of the infield to make the score 13-8 in favor of the Spartans.
Bottom 9th: McAllister doubled down the left field line to lead-off the bottom of the ninth inning. McAllister came around to score on a Garrido single down the right field line to end the scoring for either side in the game.
- Caleb Matthews picked up his second win of the season, pitching 2.1 innings of relief.
- Garett Wallace led the Spartan offense with a 3-for-6 day at the plate with 3 runs and a pair of RBI's.
- J.J. Shimko continued his consecutive multi-hit games streak to six games and now has 15 multi-hit games on the season.
- Jason Matthews also had a two-hit, two-RBI game for the Spartans and Jake Bourke recorded a pair of RBI's in the win.
- USC Upstate and Longwood will play game three of the series at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.
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