Spartans Drop Series Opener to Belmont
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Belmont used a nine-run sixth inning to push ahead for good as it downed the homestanding USC Upstate Spartans by a score of 16-6 on Friday night at Harley Park.
Belmont (15-16, 5-8 A-Sun) scored the first run of the contest when Matt Zeblo delivered a RBI-single to left, giving the Bruins the early 1-0 advantage.
Upstate (11-21, 5-9 A-Sun) answered with four runs of its own in the bottom of the first. Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C.) hit a triple down the right field line and scored on Trey Richardson's (Lakeland, Fla.) sacrifice fly to center.
The Spartans got back-to-back-to-back singles by Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.), Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) and Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) and had the bases loaded with two outs in the inning. Anthony Vacca (Fonthill, Ontario) delivered a bases-clearing double to the gap in right center, putting the Spartans in front, 4-1.
Belmont answered with a single run in the second when Judah Akers hit a leadoff solo home run to left center. In the fourth, Akers again hit a leadoff solo blast, this time to left field, cutting the Upstate lead to 4-3. Jared Breen followed with a solo homer of his own to tie the game at 4-4.
After Belmont took a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth, Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) hit a two-run home run to right to give Upstate a 6-5 lead. Liput's second homer of the season also scored Richardson.
In the top of the sixth Belmont sent 15 batters to the dish and scored a total of nine runs (eight earned) on just three hits. Upstate used four different pitchers in the inning, three Bruins walked, two batters were hit by a pitch and there were a total of three wild pitches in the inning. After five and a half innings, the Bruins went from down one to up eight (14-6).
Belmont added a pair of runs in the ninth to set the final tally at 16-6.
Bruin starter Chase Brookshire went the distance and picked up his second win of the season. Brookshire tossed 106 pitches in the nine-inning complete game, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts. Upstate starter Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) earned the loss after pitching 5.1 innings giving up seven runs on 10 hits with a pair of walks and five punch outs.
Vacca and Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) led the Spartans with a pair of 2-for-4 performances at the plate.
The Spartans and Bruins will wrap-up the three game A-Sun set with a doubleheader beginning tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.