March 20, 2012

Upstate Downs North Carolina A&T, 11-6, in Mid-Week Action

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After falling behind 3-0, the Spartan offense came alive as USC Upstate scored 11 runs between the second and sixth innings as the club claimed a five-run victory Tuesday night at Harley Park.

With North Carolina A&T (6-13) leading 3-0 after the top of the second, the Spartans trimmed the deficit to just one run in the home half of the second.  Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.) doubled down the left field line, allowing Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Brandon Patterson (Polk City, Fla.) to score.

After N.C. A&T pushed the lead to 4-2 in the third, the Spartans (16-3) were able to tie the contest thanks to a pair of runs in the bottom half of the third inning.  Following a Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) walk and a Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) single, Trey Richardson delivered a RBI single, again closing the gap to one (4-3).  Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) recorded a RBI groundout, tying the contest at four.

The Aggies again regained the lead with a single run in the fifth.  Andre McKoy scored when Dairio Little reached on a throwing error Upstate's Greer.

Upstate took the lead, 9-5, for the first time Tuesday night with a five-run fifth inning.  Liput highlighted the Spartan fifth with a two-RBI triple as Miller and Patterson scored.  Three of the five Spartan runs in the fifth were unearned.

Upstate pushed its lead to 11-4 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Greer scored when Bumgardner reached on an error, while Weber drove in Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) to score the 11th and final run of the night for the Spartans.

The Aggies added a single run in the top of the ninth to set the final tally at 11-6.

Upstate reliever Chris Cox (Simpsonville, S.C.) earned the win after allowing one run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout.  The junior's victory was the first of his Spartan career.  L.J. Newman (Piedmont, S.C.) pitched the final four innings to earn his first career save.  One unearned run scored during Neman's outing and he allowed two hits and one walk with two strikeouts.

Andrew Cook (0-2) took the loss for N.C. A&T after allowing seven hits and two runs (five total) in 1.2 innings of relief work.

Upstate was led at the plate by Greer and Weber as the duo combined for seven hits, four RBI and three runs.

The Aggies were led by the top of its order Tuesday.  The trio of Michael Radford, Andre McKoy, Marquis Riley posted eight hits, five runs and three RBI.

The Spartans will return to action tomorrow evening when they travel to Boiling Springs, N.C., for a 6 p.m. tilt at Gardner-Webb.