SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Trailing 1-0, USC Upstate unleashed a flurry of runs in the second inning by sending 10 men to the plate and scoring six runs and the 24th-ranked Spartans held on late for an 11-7 win against North Greenville Tuesday night in the final game of the regular season at Harley Park.
Upstate finishes the regular season with a 22-9 record at home this season and improves to 32-20 overall.
After North Greenville took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI double by catcher Curt Marshall, the Spartans answered in a six-run second with a two-RBI double by freshman third baseman Jake Rollins, a single by junior first baseman Andrew Runion that scored two runs, a RBI single by senior shortstop John Caddell, and a run-scoring double from sophomore second baseman Eric Guillen to take a 6-1 lead.
Upstate added to the lead with a RBI single by senior catcher Bret Story and a RBI on a groundout by junior left fielder Andrew Maddox for an 8-1 lead. The Crusaders rallied with three runs in the fifth, two coming on a two-run home run by left fielder Matt Britt, and two more in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring triple by center fielder Cameron Tate and a RBI double from Marshall to cut the lead to 8-6.
The Spartans would make a response of their own in the top of the seventh inning with Caddell coming through with a double to score a run and, after North Greenville scored in the top of the eighth on a Britt RBI double, Upstate scored twice more in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles from junior right fielder Casey Rivers and junior designated hitter Kyle Bowley for an 11-7 lead.
Every Spartan batter had a hit in the contest and Caddell was 3-for-6 with a double, triple, and two RBIs falling just a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Rivers was 3-for-5 with a RBI and Maddox finished 2-for-5 with a RBI. Senior pitcher Kevin Crane (1-1) picked up the win pitching 6 1/3 innings giving up six runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Britt hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 to lead the Crusaders and