Spartans Fall to Eagles in Walk-off Fashion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall,
 dbeall@uscupstate.edu

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – The USC Upstate baseball team held a one-run lead with one out to get Friday evening, but FGCU scored a run in the ninth and the game-winner in the 10th to pick up a 3-2 victory in walk-off fashion in the opening contest of a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference weekend series at Swanson Stadium.

With the Spartans (22-17, 7-9 A-Sun) clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth inning, the Eagles (21-13, 7-6 A-Sun) used a two-out run scoring double to force extra innings where Alex Diaz lined a walk-off single to left center in the 10th frame to snap a five-game losing streak for FGCU.

After both teams went scoreless over the first three innings, the Spartans broke through in the fourth frame when Tyler Lesch and Brandon Patterson led off with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no outs.

Trey Richardson followed with a productive groundout to shortstop, sending Patterson to second and Lesch trotting home to score the first run of the series. Brody Greer followed with Upstate's third hit of the inning, a single through the left side to plate Patterson and cap a two-run fourth inning.

The Eagles answered in their half of the fifth inning when Michael Suchy led off and connected on a solo home run to cut the Upstate lead in half and make it 2-1.

Brandon Lee settled in from there and stifled the FGCU hitters, allowing just six hits over 7.0 innings and adding seven strikeouts but did not factor into the decision.

Chad Sobotka (0-2) came on in the eighth inning and shut down the Eagles, but FGCU rallied for a run in the ninth and one more in the 10th to send the Upstate closer to his second loss of the year.

Game two of the three-game series is slated for Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. with David Roseboom taking the mound for the Spartans.

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