SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the first time since making the move to Division I, the USC Upstate baseball team has defeated a nationally-ranked opponent, this time coming in shutout fashion with a 6-0 win over No. 20 Stetson on Friday night at Harley Park.
Upstate starter Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) hurled a gem as he pitched seven complete innings scattering six hits with four strikeouts as he tossed 117 pitches. With the victory, DeCecco now owns a 3-2 mark in 2011.
The Spartans (11-16, 5-6 A-Sun) scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. The Spartans got all the offense they needed when Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) hit a sacrifice fly to left field allowing Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) to trot home from third, putting the Spartans in front, 1-0.
Upstate pushed the lead to 4-0 with a three-run third inning. With Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill) standing on second and Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) standing on third base, Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) delivered a two-RBI double down the left field line. Richardson later scored when Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C) singled through the left side.
In the top of the fifth inning DeCecco found himself in quite the jam as the bases were loaded and there was just one out. The southpaw was able to get out of the inning thanks to back-to-back fly outs.
Upstate added another run in the fifth inning when Stetson right fielder Sean Emory dropped a fly ball that should have resulted in the third out of the inning. Weber was able to score all the way from first base, giving the Spartans a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, Stetson (20-7, 7-3) again loaded the bases with two outs, but Ryan Lashley struck out to end the Hatter threat.
Upstate scored its final run of the game when Anthony Vacca (Fonthill, Ontario) scored on Way's sacrifice fly to left.
Stetson starter Lindsey Caughel was credited with the loss and pitched just two innings after being forced from the game due to an injury. Caughel allowed one run on three hits in his brief outing.
Chris Knauff (Marietta, Ga.) closed the book on the Hatters on Friday night as the sophomore pitched the final two innings allowing just three hits and recording two strikeouts.
Upstate was led at the plate by Weber who was a perfect 4-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Liput and Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C.) each collected two hits, while Liput scored one run.
The Spartans and Hatters will wrap-up the series tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.