SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2012
Baseball loses series finale at USC Upstate
It continues to be a broken record, but another bad inning hurt the JU baseball team in an Atlantic Sun Conference loss to USC Upstate, 12-4, Sunday at Harley Park.
The Dolphins (14-28, 4-11 A-Sun) led for most of the contest until an 11-run eighth inning by the Spartans (29-12, 12-5) gave them third straight loss. Ten of the 11 USC Upstate runs were unearned on two errors, two hit by pitches and two pass balls.
“We continue to beat ourselves,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “We haven’t played very many complete games during the conference schedule. Hopefully, these few days off for finals will allow us to refocus for the final A-Sun games.”
Trailing 4-1 to start the eighth inning, Gaither Bumgardner was hit by a junior Drew Woods pitch. Woods was lifted for sophomore Jimmy Appleby who walked the next two hitters to load the bases. Appleby recorded a strikeout in the next at-bat, but allowed a LJ Newman infield single for a run.
After a fly out, the Dolphins committed an error that reloaded the bases. Appleby walked another batter to score a run, while senior Steve Eagerton came into the game and hit his first batter which scored a run to tie the contest. Bumgardner came back up and had an infield RBI single. Austin Liput followed with a double down the right field line, scoring all three runners for the 8-4 lead. The Spartans added two more RBI hits and scored on a pass ball to cap the inning.
Brandon Lee pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Spartans to secure his complete-game victory. Lee (6-3) struck out eight batters and allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits.
Appleby (2-2) took his second loss of the series after allowing five unearned runs on a hit and three walks in 0.2 innings. Woods surrendered two runs on four hits and five strikeouts in season-high 7.0 innings for the no-decision.
Junior Adam Brett Walker II recorded a three-run double in the third inning to give JU the early advantage. JU made it 4-0 in the sixth inning after Walker II scored on a two-out error. The Spartans scored a run in the bottom of the inning on a Trey Richardson groundout.
The Dolphins will spend the next few days in finals before starting their final seven home games with Mercer Friday at 6:30 p.m.