Charleston Southern falls to USC Upstate in baseball, 8-7

USC Upstate (25-22) used a four-run sixth inning to rally for an 8-7 win over Charleston Southern (19-28) in baseball Wednesday night at CSU Ballpark.

The Buccaneers fell in an early 4-0 hole before taking a 5-4 lead. But the Spartans came back in the sixth inning to take the lead for good.

Robbie Street was 3 for 3 with a run scored, while Bobby Ison and John Faircloth each added two hits for the Buccaneers, who begin a series at Radford at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The Bucs struggled against the Upstate bullpen after starter Chris Cox (4-3) was effective, despite allowing seven runs. Cox worked 61/3 innings and scattered nine hits. He was victimized by a couple of errors during the Bucs’ big fifth inning, which led to five unearned runs.

Junior Zack Hagaman (1-1) took the loss for CSU in relief. He gave up four runs in the pivotal inning.

USC Upstate opened the scoring off of CSU starter Chase Shelton in the second. Spartans catcher Luke Weber singled and scored on an infield single by Erik Samples to give Upstate a 1-0 lead. Samples’ roller died in the grass in front of CSU third baseman Jaren Sustar to score the game’s first run.

The Spartans’ lead grew to 2-0 in the fourth as Daniel Seeba hit a solo home to left off of Bucs’ reliever Matt Witt.

Upstate would take advantage of a walk and a hit batter to load the bases with two outs. Left fielder Tyler Lesch singled back up the box to score two and extend the lead to 4-0.

Charleston Southern jumped into the lead in the fifth with five unearned runs. A pair of errors by Upstate third baseman Samples kept the inning alive for the Bucs, and Alex Tomasovich and Ison took advantage of the extra opportunities. Ison lined a two-run single into right field to score Street and Kevin Hickey, and Tomasovich singled down the right field line to plate John Faircloth, who also had an RBI single in the inning, as CSU took a 5-4 lead.

USC Upstate responded with four in the sixth, as Weber delivered with a two-run double to give Upstate the lead back for good. Trey Richardson added an RBI double to score Weber as Upstate took an 8-5 lead.

The Bucs rallied again in the seventh as Drew Woodall lined a two-run single back up the middle, scoring Tomasovich and Faircloth, who both reached on walks, to cut the Spartans’ lead to 8-7. Reliever Gaither Bumgardner got a fly ball to end the inning with the bases loaded for the Bucs.

The Bucs got the tying run on in the ninth as Shelton reached on a third Spartans error, but closer Chad Sobotka got Drew Woodall to bounce into a double play to end the game for his seventh save of the year.

CSU used seven pitchers. Freshman Andrew Tomasovich gave the Bucs a chance in the ninth, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the inning.