SPARTANBURG, S.C. – David Palladino (Emerson, N.J.) pitched seven complete innings and the Spartans scored nine of their 11 runs between the fourth and seventh innings to claim the 11-3 victory over Gardner-Webb Wednesday evening at Harley Park.
Palladino, the USC Upstate starting pitcher, allowed one run (three total) on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Gardner-Webb (15-11) got on the scoreboard first with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the second inning. Adam McFarland reached on a throwing error by Upstate shortstop Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.) and was able to score on a triple by Ryan Hodge. Hodge was able to score on a sacrifice fly to center by Brad Collins.
Upstate (19-6) was able to tie the contest with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the second. Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla.) led off the inning with back-to-back triples to the gap in left center. Liput was able to tie the game at two when he scored on a RBI groundout by Greer.
Gardner-Webb regained the lead with a single run in the top of the fourth. Ryan Hodge tallied his second RBI of the game as he doubled down the right field line, allowing Scott Coleman to score.
The Spartans took their first lead of the contest with three runs in the home half of the fourth as the club led 5-3 after four complete innings. Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) scored on a RBI groundout by Dillon Way (Orangeburg, S.C.) and Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) crossed home plate on a passed ball. Luke Weber (Spartanburg, S.C.) completed the scoring with a solo homer to left center.
Upstate was able to push its lead to 7-3 with a single run in the fifth and the sixth innings. Cook drove in Miller in the fifth, while Way scored on a bases loaded balk in the sixth.
The Spartans scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh as the squad increased its lead to eight at 11-3. Richardson and Cook were earned runs, while Jordan Stampler (Davie, Fla.) and Greg Guers) scored unearned runs.
Gardner-Webb threatened in the top of the eighth as the Runnin' Bulldogs loaded the bases with just one out. Ryan Hodge struck out swinging and pinch hitter Brantley Smith grounded out to first to end the Gardner-Webb eighth.
In the ninth, Gardner-Webb was retired in order to end the contest.
Led by Weber, the Spartans had seven players tally multiple hits Wednesday. Weber posted four hits, while Richardson added three. Stampler, Guers, Miller, Liput and Cook all finished with two hits as the club posted 17 hits in the contest.
Runnin' Bulldog starter Andrew Barnett took the loss and fell to 1-3 on the season. Barnett allowed six runs on 10 hits in five innings of work.
The Spartans will return to the diamond this weekend when they welcome A-Sun foe Florida Gulf Coast to Harley Park for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6 p.m.