Upstate’s RBI Single in Ninth Sinks Bulldogs
Charleston, S.C. – USC Upstate's Trey Richardson lined a RBI single to right in the top of the ninth to plate the winning run as the Spartans defeated The Citadel 6-5 Tuesday evening at Riley Park. The Bulldogs fall to 6-6 overall and host Western Carolina this weekend in their Southern Conference opener.
With two outs and Bulldog RHP Ryan Hines on the mound, Greg Guers lined a double to right and Richardson followed with his first hit of the season, a timely one that plated Guers for the go-ahead run.
Upstate (11-1) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, scoring a single run in the first and two in the third to take command of the game in the first few innings. A RBI double by Luke Weber scored Tyler Cook in the opening frame and the Spartans added two more in the third on a fielding error by Nick Orvin after a single by Gaither Bumgardner and a another RBI single to left by Weber.
The Citadel cut into the three-run deficit with a run in the fifth. Bailey Rush reached on a fielder's choice and Mason Davis singled down the left-field line to put runners at first and second. Joe Jackson knocked a RBI double to the gap in left center to plate Rush and get the Bulldogs on the board.
The Spartans responded with two runs in the top of the sixth to open a 5-1 lead. Tyler Miller led off with a single and Austin Liput reached on a fielder error by Drew DeKerlegand at third. A sacrifice bunt by Brody Greer put both runners in scoring position and Jordan Stampler drove both in with a two-run single up the middle.
The Bulldogs rallied back in the sixth, scoring three runs and knocking Upstate starter David Palladino from the mound. DeKerlegand drew a one-out walk and Tyler Griffin followed with a two-run homer to right, his second of the season. After another out was recorded, Calvin Orth singled to right, sending Palladino to the bench. Upstate brought in Chris Cox to face pinch-hitter Hayden Hendry and Cox balked on his second pitch, moving Orth to second. Hendry responded with a RBI single to right, scoring Orth and bring in the Bulldogs with one run.
Despite stranding the bases loaded in seventh, the Bulldogs rallied to knot the game in the eighth on a RBI single by Jackson. Upstate went on to score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth and Spartan closer Chad Sobotka, who blew the save in the eighth, set the Bulldogs down in order to end the game.
Jackson led the Bulldogs' offense with three hits, while four Spartans collected two hits apiece for Upstate. Hines (1-1) took the loss for The Citadel, allowing one run on two hits in one inning of work. Sobotka (1-0) picked up the win for Upstate, striking out four in 1-2/3 innings and allowing one hit.
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