CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team held a 4-1 lead heading to the ninth but USC Upstate rallied for three runs to tie the game at 4-4 before eventually scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 11th to outlast PC, 5-4, in extra innings at Harley Park in Spartanburg, S.C. on Wednesday evening. PC falls to 11-12 on the year, while USC Upstate improve to 12-11.
How It Happened
PC got the scoring started in the third with a run to take an early 1-0 lead. Cletis Avery drew a one-out walk for the first Blue Hose base runner of the game and a few pitches later stole second to put a runner in scoring position. Thatcher Coleman wasted no time driving him in with PC’s first hit of the game, an RBI single to right center, to put the Blue Hose in front.
The Blue Hose added to its lead with a three-run sixth inning. Tyler Weyenberg and Nick Guimbarda drew back-to-back walks to start the inning and a sac bunt by TJ Richardson put them in scoring position with one out. After a strikeout, Connor Slagill hit his first career home run, a three-run drive to left, to clear the bases and give the Blue Hose a 4-0 advantage on just three hits.
The Spartans finally broke through with a run in the bottom of the eighth. A leadoff single by Zach Krider, a PC error and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Hunter Gilbert plated the Spartans’ first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center to score Gilbert from third and make it a 4-1 game. Hunter Kyzar was able to work out of the inning with no damage done, getting a popout and a flyout to leave the remaining two runners stranded.
USC Upstate then rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and send it to extras. The Spartans loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks and a catcher’s interference but with two outs. The first run of the inning came across on a bases loaded walk to cut the lead to 4-2. Gilbert then tied the game with a two-run single to right field and put runners at the corners to give the Spartans a chance for the win. Ryan Hall kept it tied at 4-4 with a strikeout to leave two stranded and send the game to extra innings.
In the 11th inning, a leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt put the potential winning run on second base with one out. The Blue Hose would intentionally walk the following batter to set up the double play and put runners at the first and second. JJ Shimko then walked for the fourth time of the night to load the bases. Brendan Brundidge then gave the Spartans the walk-off victory with a sac fly to left to score Devon Ortiz from third for the 5-4 win.
Pitchers of Record
Brian Boocock (1-2) earned the win in relief, allowing just one hit in 1.0 inning of work with a pair of strikeouts.
Ethan Wortkoetter (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing one run without allowing a hit in 1.2 innings of work with five walks (two intentional).
Player of the Game
Eric Miles turned in another strong start and left the game with a 4-1 lead and in line for his fourth win of the season. The righty tossed 6.0 scoreless innings and allowed seven hits with four strikeouts against a pair of walks. The rookie hurler did his best work with runners on base, stranding 10 to go unblemished after Upstate had at least one base runner reach in every inning against Miles.
- Connor Slagill hit his first career home run, a three-run long ball, coming in just his 21st at-bat of the year. The sophomore finished the game 2-for-5 with the homer, a run and three RBIs in his third start of the year.
- Nick Guimbarda went 2-for-4 with a run and a walk to go with his team-leading ninth double of the season. He recorded his ninth multi-hit game of the season, including his seventh two-hit game of the season.
- Cletis Avery also went 2-for-4 at the dish with a run and a walk for his fourth multi-hit game of the year.
The Blue Hose open Big South play against UNC Asheville at the PC Baseball Complex this weekend with the series opener scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m.