February 18, 2012

Spartan Baseball Rolls Ball State, 10-1

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team (2-0) rolled over Ball State today, picking up a 10-1 victory at Harley Park.

The Spartans scored their first run of the contest in the bottom of the first inning as junior Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) batted in classmate Jordan Stampler (Davie, Fla.) off of a single to right field. However, the Cardinals answered back in the top of the second, evening things out at 1-1 as Sean Godfrey scored off of a sacrifice fly to left field from Wes Winkle. This proved to be the only run for Ball State.

Upstate surged ahead in the bottom of the second inning, plating six runs. The Spartans' big scoring inning was sparked by back-to-back doubles from sophomore Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.) and freshman L.J. Neman (piedmont, S.C.), followed by a single from senior Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ind.). Senior Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) added a single, while Bumgardner doubled down the left field line to pick up three RBI. Bumgardner ended up scoring off of a sacrifice fly from freshman Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.). The Spartans tallied six runs off of five hits in the second inning, leaving two runners on base.

The Spartans posted a three-run fifth inning off of four hits. Guers scored a run, while Newman and Cook each recorded their second run of the game, putting the final score at 10-1.

Newman and Cook both registered 2-for-4 days at bat with two runs score each. Newman had two RBI, while Cook had one. Bumgardner recorded a team-high four RBI for the Spartans, going 2-for-4 at the dish with one run scored. Liput also went 2-for-4 with one run scored, while Stampler went 1-for-2, scoring two runs and batting in one.

On the mound, junior Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) earned the win for Upstate, while Ball State's Nestor Bautista fell to 0-1 on the season. DeCecco allowed three hits and gave up one run, while walking three and striking out five in five innings of work. Bautista gave up six hits and seven runs, while fanning one Spartan batter over 1.1 innings pitched.

Upstate freshman David Palladino (Emerson, N.J.) tossed two innings in relief, sitting down four Cardinal batters, while junior Chris Knauff (Marietta, Ga.) struck out two in one inning of work. Scott Baker threw three complete innings for Ball State, allowing three runs off of four hits and fanning three.

On the day, the Spartans put up 12 hits, compared to the Cardinals' three. Ball State committed one error on the say, while Upstate was error-free.

Upstate returns to action tomorrow, hosting Kentucky at 3 p.m. weather permitting. Follow the Spartans this season on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.