SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) finished 3-for-5 at the plate with one RBI and Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) pitched seven complete innings as the USC Upstate baseball team posted a 6-2 win over Air Force Sunday afternoon at Harley Park.
The Spartans' (9-1) seven-game win streak is the longest of the D-I era and second-longest of the Matt Fincher era (2005, 10 games).
The top three batters in the Upstate lineup finished with seven of the team's 11 hits and were responsible for four RBI and three runs. Aside from Bumgardner's three hits and one RBI, Jordan Stampler (Davie, Fla.) was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, while Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) added two hits, one run and one RBI.
"Tyler and Gaither have gotten off to good starts and Jordan has been an on-base machine," said head coach Matt Fincher. "It's good to see Jordan get some base hits and we are going to need him to do that from time to time. We are going need to have hits bunched like we did today in order to continue to be successful."
Air Force (3-8) struck first Sunday as the Falcons plated a run on Alex Bast's RBI single to left center.
Spartan southpaw, Scott DeCecco ran into trouble in the third as the Falcons loaded the bases with just one out. The junior was able to escape the jam as David Thomas grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Upstate was able to take the lead in the home half of the third. Stampler was hit by a pitch and Cook followed with a triple down the right field line as the Spartans tied the contest at one. Bumgardner singled up the middle allowing Cook to trot home and give the Spartans a 2-1 lead.
After the Falcons went three up and three down in the fourth and fifth, the Spartans pushed the lead to 3-1 with a single run in the bottom of the fifth as Stampler scored on a Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) sacrifice fly to right.
Air Force again went three up and three down in the sixth and Upstate followed with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. With pinch runner Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) on second and Brandon Patterson (Polk City, Fla.), Stampler doubled down the right field line to push the Spartan lead to 5-2.
Air Force added a run in the seventh, before the Spartans set the final tally at 6-2 with a run in the eighth. Patterson drove in Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.) to push the lead to four.
DeCecco, who tossed 106 pitches during his seven-inning performance, allowed one run (two total) on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The win Sunday was the third of the season for DeCecco.
Upstate used a pair of relief pitchers to close the door on the Falcons. Ben Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.) tossed a scoreless eighth on four pitches, while Chris Knauff (Marietta, Ga.) struck out two batters and forced a ground out to end the contest.
Air Force starter Michael Ceci (1-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Matthew Roberts led the Falcons with a hit, a run and walk.
The Spartans will host Valparaiso tomorrow at Harley Park with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.