April 5, 2011

Pitching Woes Doom Spartans in Loss at South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – On Tuesday night, USC Upstate managed just two runs on seven hits while allowing 18 runs on 20 hits to the homestanding South Carolina Gamecocks in an 18-2 loss at Carolina Stadium.

In the first inning, the Gamecocks (23-5) took an early 2-0 advantage when Scott Wingo sent a two-run homer over the right field wall.  South Carolina added three more runs in the innings and chased Upstate starter Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) from the game as the southpaw faced eight batters allowing five runs on five hits with a pair of walks while recording just one out.  DeCecco was credited with the loss and now owns a 3-3 mark in 2011.

Chris Knauff (Marietta, Ga.) relieved DeCecco and pitched 5.2 innings, a career-high for the sophomore left-hander.  Knauff's previous career-best was 4.0 innings, occurring three times, most recently against Furman (Mar. 22, 2011).

In the top of the second inning, Upstate (11-19) tacked on its first run of the contest when Anthony Vacca (Fonthill, Ontario) scored on Tyler Miller's (Fort Mill, S.C.) single to the left center field gap.

The Gamecocks added a pair of runs in the second and third innings to take a 9-1 lead after just three innings.

South Carolina tacked on another run in the sixth when Adrian Morales scored on Brady Thomas' single to center field.

Already leading 10-1, South Carolina exploded for six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.  The inning was capped by Christian Walker's grand slam over the left field wall on a 3-0 count and the Gamecocks owned a 16-1 advantage after seven complete innings.

The Spartans added one run in the eighth when Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C.) scored on Austin Liput's (Oviedo, Fla.) RBI single to left.

The Gamecocks added two more runs in the eighth to set the final tally at 18-2.

Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) was the lone Spartan to pick up multiple hits as the third baseman picked up two hits in four at-bats.

South Carolina starter Patrick Sullivan earned the win after pitching five innings allowing one run on two hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts.

Upstate will return to action tomorrow evening when they host Gardner-Webb at Harley Park with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m.