SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team lost 6-5 to Winthrop University on Friday night, setting up a rubber match on Saturday afternoon at Harley Park.
With the loss the Spartans fall to 23-28 on the season and 9-16 in Big South competition, while Winthrop improves to 30-21 overall and 17-9 in conference play.
Bottom 1st: Jeff Taylor hit a leadoff double to right field to begin the game and moved second on a J.J. Shimko walk. An infield single by Julian Rip loaded up the bases and Garett Wallace hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the opening run of the game.
Bottom 3rd: Andres Kim smacked a leadoff single through the right side of the infield to begin the action in the bottom of the third. Shimko followed with a double down the left field line and Rip cleared the bases with a two-run triple down the left field line. One batter later and McGaha singled in Rip from third base.
Top 4th: Winthrop began to chip away at the Spartans lead in the top of the fourth inning. Hunter Lipscomb walked to leadoff the inning and moved to third on a Grant English double. Matthew Mulkey hit a sharp grounded to the shortstop, allowing Lipscomb to score from third. Jake Sullivan doubled to center field, making the score a 4-2 advantage in favor of the Spartans.
Top 8th: Spencer Yankle reached on a Jason Matthews error to begin the eighth inning of action. A Grant English single put a pair of ducks on the pond for Winthrop, setting up Matthew Mulkey for an RBI double to right field. A passed ball scored a run and Sullivan and Tyler Baker ended the inning with back-to-back RBI singles.
Bottom 8th: The Spartan comeback was on in the bottom of the eighth as Winthrop walked the first two batters of the inning. After back-to-back outs by the Spartan offense, Andres Kim singled in a run to bring the Spartans within a single run of the Eagles.
- For the second consecutive night Julian Rip led the Spartan offense with a 3-for-5 night at the plate. The junior scored a run and drove in a team high two RBI's on the night.
- Andres Kim and Jason Matthews were the only other Spartans to record a pair of hits in the game.
- Sean Hupp pitched 7.1 innings and allowed just 7 hits in the ballgame.
- USC Upstate and Winthrop will play game three of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Harley Park. Senior day festivities will begin at 12:45 p.m.
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