Spartans Rally Past Blue Hose, 8-5, on Friday Afternoon

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After falling behind 5-4 after six and a half innings, the USC Upstate baseball team scored two runs in the seventh and eighth innings as they downed Presbyterian College, 8-5, on Friday afternoon at Harley Park.

The first four innings of the contest flew by as neither team was able to score and the two teams combined for just five hits.

PC (4-1) scored the first run of the game when Tyler Hill scored on Gabe Grammer's RBI single in the top of the fifth.

The Spartans (4-2) were able to take the lead thanks to a four-run sixth inning.  With Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) and Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) standing on first and second respectively, Grason Wiggins (Statesboro, Ga.) laid down a sacrifice bunt allowing the pair to advance 90 feet.

Richardson scored on a RBI groundout by Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) to tie the game at one.  Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) drove in Liput to put Upstate ahead 2-1.  Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) drove in Miller and later scored as he stole third and the ball sailed past PC third baseman Tyler Hill, allowing Weber to easily score.

The Blue Hose posted their own four run inning as they tacked on four in the top of the seventh.  Tony Micklon delivered the RBI single that allowed PC to take the 5-4 advantage.

In the bottom of the seventh, Way delivered a two-out two RBI single to left center putting the Spartans ahead 6-5.  Upstate would not relinquish the lead as they added on two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Both starting pitchers received no decisions on Friday afternoon.  Upstate starter Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) pitched six complete innings allowing just one run on four hits and recorded four strikeouts.  Meanwhile, PC starter Buck Mosteller went 5.2 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits.

Upstate reliever Chris Knauff (Marietta, Ga.) picked up the win and sits 1-1 on the season after pitching two-thirds of an inning, allowing zero runs on two hits.  Jordan Rusk (Longwood, Fla.) picked up his first save of 2011 after pitching the final two innings, giving up just two hits while striking out three.

The Spartans were led at the plate by Liput, Miller and Way.  Liput and Miller each had two hits and one run, while Miller also had one RBI.  Way, despite having just one hit, tallied three RBI on the afternoon.

The Spartans will return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. when they face the Dayton Flyers at Harley Park.