CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team had its home finale spoiled on Wednesday, as a bloop single in the top of the 10th scored the go-ahead run for USC Upstate en route to the 6-5 extra-inning win at the PC Baseball Complex in Clinton, S.C. The Blue Hose dropped to 24-24 overall, while the Spartans improved to 19-25.
How It Happened
PC got the scoring started with a run in the second. Connor Slagill hit a leadoff, solo home run to left for his fourth long ball of the season to put the Blue Hose in front 1-0.
USC Upstate tied the game in its next at-bat. Pat Raiff singled up the middle to lead off the frame, before a fielding error and a bunt single loaded the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, J.J. Shimko plated Raiff with a sac fly to left to tie the game at 1-1.
The Spartans then took the lead with three runs in the fourth. Jordan Miller reached on an error with one out and Drake Harris followed with a single to put two aboard. Raiff then homered to right, his first of the season, to clear the bases and make it a 4-1 Upstate lead.
PC responded with lone runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Colton Chapman led off with a single up the middle and Nick Guimbarda followed with a walk. Cletis Avery moved both runners with a sac bunt for the first out. Tyler Weyenberg then scored Chapman with a sac fly to right to cut the lead to two runs. In the fifth, with runners on the corners and two outs, Slagill drove in his second run of the game with an RBI single through the left side to cut the lead to one.
Upstate pushed the lead back to two with a run in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Jake Bourke scored a run with a sac fly to right to make it a 5-3 game.
The Blue Hose would tie it an inning later in the seventh. Brett Auckland drew a leadoff walk and TJ Richardson followed with a single to put two aboard with no outs. After a sac bunt by Priaulx put both in scoring position, Slagill came through again with a single up the middle to score both runners and even the score at 5-5.
In the Upstate 10th though, Shimko drew a leadoff walk to put the go-ahead run on base with no outs. After a fielder's choice for the first out, Russell Schwertfeger singled to put runners on the corners. A strikeout accounted for the second out but a bloop single by Harris into shallow left dropped in to score the eventual winning run for the 6-5 victory.
Pitchers of Record
Upstate reliever Will Wheeler (1-1) earned the victory with 1.1 innings out of the bullpen. He retired four of the five batters he faced with the lone man to reach doing so on an error.
PC reliever Ryan Hedrick (2-3) suffered the loss, allowing a run on two hits and a walk in 1.0 inning of work.
Upstate's Connor Campbell earned his second save of the season, as he recorded the final two outs of the game in the tenth inning.
Player of the Game
Connor Slagill led the Blue Hose with a big afternoon at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a homer, a run and four RBIs. It was the second three-hit game of the year for the righty and his sixth multi-hit game. The four RBIs were a career-high and just the third four-RBI game by a Blue Hose player this season. Over his last four games, Slagill is 8-for-15 (.533) with two homers, two runs and seven RBIs.
- TJ Richardson continued his hot hitting with another multi-hit game, going 2-for-6 with a run in the contest. The catcher now has 11 multi-hit games this season, third-most on the team, with at least two hits in each of his last five games, raising his average to .325 on the year.
- AJ Priaulx went 2-for-4 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt on the afternoon. He now has a team-leading 13 multi-hit games this year.
- Eric Miles continued his strong work out of the bullpen, throwing 2.0 perfect innings as he retired all six batters that he faced. The rookie lowered his ERA to 2.59 on the year, best on the team among players with at least 30.0 innings on the year.
PC takes the weekend off, as Presbyterian College students go through final exams. The Blue Hose are back in action next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at South Carolina.