SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team recorded a season high 19 runs off 21 hits against Winthrop on Thursday night at Harley Park, defeating the Eagles 19-6.
With the victory USC Upstate improves to 23-27 overall on the season and 9-15 in Big South competition. Winthrop falls to 29-21 overall on the year and 16-9 in conference play.
Bottom 1st: Jeff Taylor hit a leadoff double to left center field to begin the inning for the Spartans. Taylor came around to score on an RBI single from J.J. Shimko. Julian Rip doubled to left center to set the stage for Garett Wallace with one out in the inning. Wallace hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Spartans a 2-0 advantage. Robby McGaha tripled on a full count pitch to bring in the Spartans third run of the inning.
Bottom 2nd: Davis Wilber slapped a one out single in to right center to get the USC Upstate offense going in the second inning. After a walk to Taylor the Eagles looked to have a picture perfect double play, instead they threw the ball away and the Spartans scored their fourth run of the game. Shimko roped an RBI double down the left field line and Rip recorded a sacrifice fly to give the Spartans a commanding 7-0 advantage.
Top 3rd: A hit batter and an error by the Spartans defense allowed Winthrop to score their first run of the ball game.
Bottom 4th: Wilber and Taylor opened up the bottom of the fourth inning with back-to-back singles. A sacrifice bunt by Andres Kim placed both runners into scoring position. With two outs in the inning Rip ripped ball up the middle of the infield to score the eighth run of the game for the Spartans.
Bottom 5th: The USC Upstate offense exploded in the fifth inning scoring a total of nine runs. The inning started with a Jake Bourke single up the middle, Jason Matthews was promptly plunked with a pitch and Wilber cleared the bases with a two-run double. Taylor singled in Wilber and the Spartan offense watched as the Winthrop pitchers were unable to find the strike zone. Back-to-back walks to Kim and Shimko loaded the bases, Rip was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. Kim scored on a wild pitch and a few batters later Bourke singled for the second time in the inning, this time it was an RBI knock to center field. Matthews was hit by a pitch for the second time in the inning and the Spartans were able to score another run off the Eagles pitching staff. Wallace came around to score on a wild pitch and Taylor came through with the final RBI knock of the inning. When the inning was all said and done the Spartans led 17-1.
Top 6th: Winthrop made a bit of a counter move in the top of the sixth inning. The Eagles scored five runs off three Spartan pitchers.
Bottom 6th: Shimko drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a double to left field by Rip. Wallace collected an infield hit to load up the bases and Jack Hennessy collected an RBI walk. Matthews smoked a single into right field to end the scoring for the Spartans.
- Jeff Taylor and Julian Rip both ended Thursday night's game with a four hit performance at the plate. Taylor also added a trio of runs and a pair of RBI knocks to the mix, while Rip collected a team high three RBI's and a pair of runs on the night.
- Davis Wilber finished the night with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with a trio of runs and a pair of RBI hits.
- J.J. Shimko, Garett Wallace, Robby McGaha and Jake Bourke all had multi-hit performances as well. Shimko and Jason Matthews also had a pair of multi-RBI games on the night.
- Jordan Marks picked up the victory on the mound after he pitched five full innings for the Spartans.
- Caleb Matthews earned his first save of the season, pitching the final 3.1 innings of action. Over that span Matthews struck out five Eagle batters.
- Hunter Lipscomb was the only Winthrop batter to have a multi-hit day.
- USC Upstate and Winthrop will play game two of the series tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m. at Harley Park.
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