FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team allowed a pair of seventh-inning runs Tuesday afternoon as UNC Asheville rallied from behind for a 5-4 victory at Greenwood field in non-conference mid-week action.
The Spartans (21-16) drop their third consecutive game with the defeat, while the Bulldogs (13-26) get back on track and force a split in the season series after falling 10-8 in Spartanburg earlier this year.
The Bulldogs struck first in the second inning, plating two runs on a pair of hits to jump on top 2-0. The Spartans bounced right back in the top of the third and quickly used RBI hits from Gaither Bumgardner and Tyler Lesch to knot the score at 2-2. Brandon Patterson followed and grounded out to send Lesch home and give Upstate its first lead of the day at 3-2 and cap the three-run frame.
After Asheville tied it up with a single run in the bottom of the third, both teams went quietly over the next two innings. Upstate finally made some noise in the sixth inning, loading the bases with two outs before Lesch coaxed a walk to plate Luke Weber give the Spartans a 4-3 lead.
The one-run advantage was erased in the seventh when the Bulldogs rallied from a deficit once again, this time plating a pair of two-out runs to take the lead right back and make it 5-4.
The Spartans made it interesting in the ninth when Bumgardner led off with a single through the right side, but he was stranded on second to send Upstate to its third straight loss.
Daniel Seeba (0-1) suffered the loss in 2.0 innings of relief work, allowing five hits and both seventh innings runs. Ben Augenstein tossed 6.0 strong innings, giving up just five hits and three runs. He also walked three and added three strikeouts.
Bumgardner extended his streak of multi-hit games to five contests with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate, while Lesch added two hits and two runs batted in.
The Spartans turn around in less than 24 hours and make the short trek down Pine Street to take on cross-town rival Wofford College. Chris Cox is slated to take the mound for Upstate with first pitch set for 6 p.m.