Upstate Drops Series Opener to Kennesaw State
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After taking a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second, the Spartans managed just two runs over the final seven innings and Kennesaw State claimed a 10-5 victory Friday night at Harley Park.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) delivered a two-RBI single up the middle allowing Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill.) and Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) to score. Miller later scored on a RBI groundout by Jordan Stampler (Davie, Fla.) to put USC Upstate (32-15, 15-7) in front, 3-1.
Kennesaw State (29-20, 13-9) responded with three runs in the third to regain the lead, one they would not relinquish. The Owl third was highlighted by a two-RBI single to left center by Ronnie Freeman.
The Owls moved in front 6-3 with a pair of runs in the fifth thanks to a two-run homer by Ronnie Freeman down the left field line.
Upstate closed the gap to two runs with a single run in the sixth. Miller scored his second run of the contest on a RBI single by Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.).
Kennesaw State scored four runs during the seventh and eighth innings to move in front 10-4.
The Spartans scored the final run of the game as Stampler scored on a RBI single up the middle by Bumgardner. Upstate left 12 runners on base Friday including four innings in which the club stranded two on base.
David Roseboom (Pattersonville, N.Y.) was tagged with the loss and falls to 7-2 on the season. In six innings of work he surrendered five runs (six total) on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Andrew Wyant (Newton, N.C.) and Jake Waller (Phoenixville, Pa.) pitched the seventh and eighth, respectively, while Bumgardner made his first appearance of the year with a scoreless ninth.
Kevin Kyle earned his first win of 2012 to improve to 1-4. Kyle allowed three runs (four total) on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Meanwhile, Zak Griffith allowed one run with four strikeouts in two innings of relief work.
Miller led the Spartans with two hits, two runs and two RBI, while Bumgardner added two hits and two RBI. Cook and Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C.) also tallied two hits Friday night.
Ronnie Freeman led the Owls with two hits, four RBI and one run in the series opener.
The Spartans and Owls will tangle tomorrow evening with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to support the group of baseball seniors that will be honored prior to the contest. Scott DeCecco (Cape May Courthouse, N.J. [Jr., LH, 5-2, 3.28]) is slated to get the start for the Spartans, while Kennesaw State will likely counter with Travis Dean (So., RH, 3-0, 2.38).