March 23, 2012

Spartans down Ospreys, 3-1, in Series Opener

Follow the Spartans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a game that lasted just 2:26, but spanned two days, the USC Upstate baseball team held on to claim a 3-1 victory over North Florida in the series opener at Harmon Stadium.

The game was suspended Friday night in the top of the second with Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) standing on first.  The game resumed after a delay of 17:37 as game one restarted Saturday at 12:01 p.m.

Upstate (17-4, 4-0 Atlantic Sun) took a 1-0 lead when Jordan Stampler (Davie, Fla.) scored on a Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) RBI single through the right side in the top of the first.

North Florida (15-8, 1-3) tied the contest with a single run in the bottom of the second inning.  Drew Weeks singled to center and advanced to second on a throwing error by Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) with one out.  Weeks was able to score on a RBI single by Alex Bacon, tying the contest at one.

Upstate plated the final runs of the contest with a pair in the top of the fifth.  Liput started the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.).  Liput advanced 90 feet when Stampler singled to right, giving the Spartans runners on the corners and just one out.

After Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) walked to load the bases, Liput scored on a wild pitch by Kyle Westwood, while Way and Stampler advanced to second and third, respectively.  Bumgardner followed with a walk to again load the bases.  After Weber struck out, Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) delivered a RBI single through the left side, to conclude the scoring at 3-1.

North Florida's Bryan Matthews reached second base in the seventh, the first runner in scoring position for the Ospreys since the third inning.  Alex Bacon flied out right to end the seventh, ending the North Florida seventh.

After the Spartans went three up, three down in the eighth, the Ospreys made another attempt at a rally in the home half of the eighth.  With two outs and Andrew Karmeris on first, reliever Chad Sobotka (Sarasota, Fla.) replaced starter David Roseboom (Pattersonville, N.Y.).  After surrendering a hit, Sobotka forced Ryan Roberson to ground out to end the eighth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Paul Karmeris singled through the left side, but the Ospreys next two batters flew out to end the contest.

Roseboom (4-0) earned the win for the Spartans after the Ospreys tallied four hits and one run (unearned) during his career-long outing of 7.2 innings.  In his 102-pitch performance, the sophomore struck out six and walked three.  Meanwhile, Sobotka earned his sixth save of the season after surrendering just two hits in 1.1 innings of work.

North Florida starter Kyle Westwood (2-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing two earned runs (three total) on six hits in six full innings of work.  Westwood walked four batters and struck out five in the series opener.

Weber and Liput paced the Spartans with two hits each, while Stampler scored two of Upstate's three runs.

The two teams will return to the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader beginning at Noon.  Game one of the twinbill will be a nine inning contest, while the finale will be a seven inning affair.