JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) paced the Spartans with five hits Sunday as the USC Upstate baseball team split Sunday's doubleheader with North Florida at Harmon Stadium.
With the split, the Spartans are now 18-5 (5-1 A-Sun) while the Ospreys own a 16-9 (2-4) mark.
Upstate 14, North Florida 8 (DH Game 1)
North Florida got on the scoreboard first with a single run in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Andrew Karmeris hit a solo home run to center, putting the Ospreys in front, 1-0.
Upstate responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Brandon Patterson (Polk City, Fla.) singled through the left side, allowing Weber to score. Jordan Stampler (Davie, Fla.) tallied the second RBI of the inning as his single brought home Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.), putting the Spartans in front, 2-1.
The Spartans were able to push their lead to four (5-1) as the club tallied three runs in the top of the third. Patterson, Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) and Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.) all recorded two-out RBI singles to give the Spartans the four-run advantage.
The Ospreys responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Ryan Roberson singled up the middle allowing Joe Wielbruda and Andrew Karmeris to score.
North Florida regained the lead with three runs in the home half of the fourth. Alex Bacon opened the inning with a solo homerun to left. Paul Karmeris and Andrew Karmeris tallied RBI hits in the fourth as the Ospreys took a 6-5 lead. The three runs by North Florida chased Spartan starter Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) from the game.
Osprey reliever Nick Allbritton retired 11 straight Spartan batters between the fourth and seventh innings as North Florida maintained its 6-5 lead.
The Spartans finally broke through in the top of the eighth inning as the visiting Spartans scored five unearned runs in the inning to reclaim the lead at 10-6. Of the 14 runs that the Spartans scored, eight were unearned, seven of which came in the final two innings.
Weber highlighted the eighth inning with a two-out, two-RBI double to the gap in right center. The sophomore's two-bagger was the only extra base hit for the Spartans in the contest (15 total hits).
The Spartans tacked on four runs in the ninth as Stampler and Weber tallied two-RBI singles, pushing the Upstate lead to eight (14-6).
North Florida concluded the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth. Joe Wielbruda's two-RBI single to left to set the final tally at 14-8.
Weber and Patterson paced the Spartans at the dish in game one of Sunday's twinbill. Weber finished 5-for-6 with four RBI and three runs, while Patterson posted three hits, three runs and two RBI.
David Palladino (Emerson, N.J.) earned the win in relief as he pitched a pair of scoreless innings (seventh and eighth). With the victory, Palladino improves to 3-1 on the campaign.
North Florida reliever Nick Allbritton (1-1) took the loss after giving up two hits and three runs (all unearned) with one walk and two strikeouts. Six different Osprey batters tallied two hits in game one of Sunday's doubleheader.
North Florida 4, Upstate 1 (DH Game 2, 7 innings)
The series finale turned into a pitcher's duel as both Brandon Lee (Palatka, Fla.) and Tommy Organ went the distance.
Lee (3-2) took the loss after allowing six hits and three runs (four total) with one walk and two punch outs. Organ earned the win to improve to 2-1 after allowing just one run and three hits with two walks and six strikeouts Sunday.
North Florida scored the only two runs it needed in the home half of the second inning. Michael Wesner highlighted the Osprey second with a solo homer.
Upstate trimmed the deficit to one in the top of the fourth. Weber drove in the only run of the contest with a single to right center allowing Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) to score.
North Florida scored a single run in the fifth and sixth to set the final tally at 4-1 in the seven inning contest.
Upstate will return to action with a pair of mid-week contests as the Spartans will host Charlotte (Tues., 6 p.m.) and Gardner-Webb (Wed., 6 p.m.).