Spartans Rally Past Lipscomb in A-Sun Opener
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Trailing 9-2 heading to the bottom of the eighth, the USC Upstate baseball team scored seven runs over the final two innings to tie the contest after nine innings of play Friday night at Harley Park. Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.) completed the Spartan comeback with a RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Holding a 3-2 advantage after four innings, Lipscomb (7-11, 0-1 A-Sun) scored five runs in a two-inning span to push its lead to 8-2 in the conference opener for both teams.
After the Spartans (13-3, 1-0) went quietly in the seventh, Lipscomb pushed the lead to 9-2 with a single run in the top of the eighth.
In a comeback that would only seem possible in the month of March, the Spartans clawed back into the contest with four runs in the home half of the eighth. After Jordan Stampler (Davie, Fla.) and Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) walked, Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) singled to load the bases with zero outs in the inning. Luke Weber followed with a four-pitch walk earning a RBI as Upstate scored its first run since the fourth.
Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) delivered a RBI single, allowing Way to score, as the Spartans trimmed the deficit to five. Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Grason Wiggins (Statesboro, Ga.) also drew bases loaded walks to close the gap to three at 9-6.
After Lipscomb went scoreless in the ninth, the Spartans made another surge to tie the contest with three runs in the ninth. Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) and Miller earned bases loaded walks and Guers was able to score on a muffed throw by catcher Logan Hostettler to tie the contest at nine.
Upstate was able to end the contest with a walkoff single in the top of the 11th. With two outs and a pair of base runners, Greer picked the perfect time to record his first hit of the night as his RBI single up the middle allowed Richardson to score, lifting Upstate to a thrilling 10-9 win over Lipscomb.
Chad Sobotka (Sarasota, Fla.) earned the win after allowing just one walk in two innings of work. Hunter Brothers was tagged with the loss after pitching the final 2.2 innings for the Bison.
The two teams will return to action tomorrow in the middle game of the series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.