SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team (5-1) defeated Eastern Kentucky (2-4) 6-4 today at Harley Park in the second game of the series.
The Spartans jumped on the board first as the sophomore Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) scored off of a single up the middle from freshman Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.). Both teams were held scoreless for the next three innings, until Eastern Kentucky evened things out in the top of the fifth.
The Colonels started off the fifth inning with a triple down the leftfield line from Dustin Dunlop. He scored off of a sacrifice fly to left field by Michael Garcia. Upstate answered back, plating two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Senior Dillion Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) scored off of a sacrifice fly to centerfield from Weber, followed by a run from junior Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Law, S.C.) off of another sacrifice fly to center from sophomore Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.)
The runs just kept coming for Upstate in the seventh inning as Guers hit a two-run homer over the right field wall, scoring Bumgardner and giving the Spartans a 5-1 lead.
EKU pulled within one thanks to a three-run eighth inning as an Austin Grisham single kicked things off. He advanced to third as Sean Hagen reached on an error and moved to second base on the throw. With no outs, A.J. Jamison singled to right field as Hagen advanced to third and Grisham scored. Upstate struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning. Richie Rodriguez singled down the right field line, scoring Hagen as Jamison advanced to third. Bryan Solomon batted in the final run for Eastern Kentucky as he grounded out to the shortstop, plating Jamison.
The Spartans were led by Guers, going 2-for-3 at bat, scoring one run and driving in three. Bumgardner posted a 2-for-4 day, scoring twice. Weber earned two RBI off of a 1-for-2 outing.
Junior Scott DeCecco (Cape May Couthouse, N.J.) improved to 2-0 on the season, picking up the win for the Spartans. He tossed seven innings, fanning four batters, allowing four hits and giving up one run. Freshman L.J. Newman (Piedmont, S.C.) allowed the remaining three Colonel runs, during his one inning on the mound. Junior Chris Cox (Simpsonville, S.C.) struck out one batter, while freshman Chad Sobotka (Sarasota, Fla.) earned his second save of the year. Sobotka gave up two hits in 1.2 innings of work.
Eastern Kentucky's Chase Green slipped to 0-2 on the year. He allowed five hits and three runs, while sitting down four Spartan batters during his 4.2 innings of action. Matt Fyffe tossed 3.1 innings of relief for the Colonels. He gave up three hits, three runs and two earned runs, while striking out three.
Upstate wraps-up the three-game series against EKU tomorrow at 1 p.m.