FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011
Baseball opens A-Sun play with 13-6 win over USC Upstate
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Steve Eagerton
Steve Eagerton
Junior Steve Eagerton won his third straight decision and sophomore first baseman Adam Brett Walker went 2-for-3 with a home run and five RBI to lead the JU baseball team to a 13-6 win over USC Upstate, Friday evening in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener at John Sessions Stadium.

JU (10-4, 1-0) fell behind USCU (5-9, 0-2), 2-0, in the first inning but scored 11 unanswered runs to take the series opener.

“You always want to start things off right when you get into conference play,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “Upstate got on us early but Steve was able to settle down and get into a groove. Once that happened, our offense got on track and came up with some big innings for us.”

Eagerton (3-0) allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.

Scott DeCecco (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in five innings.

Along with Walker, freshman second baseman Chris Moye went 3-for-5 with three RBI while freshman third baseman Taylor Ratliff also added three hits in the contest. Sophomore center fielder Dan Gulbransen, junior shortstop Jimmy Howick and junior designated hitter Kevin Lehane also finished with multiple hits.

Gaither Bumgardner led the Spartans by going 3-for-4 with an RBI while Austin Liput also added two hits and two RBI.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, JU took its first lead of the contest when Gulbransen hit a two-run single to left and Walker beat out a chopper to first to drive in another run.

The Dolphins made it 6-2 in the fifth when Walker hit a three-run shot to dead center to push his season total to three.

JU would add on five more in the sixth when Walker drove in a run with a bases loaded walk, Howick laced a two-run single to left, senior catcher Alex Swenson hit a sacrifice fly to right and Moye hit an RBI single to center.

Upstate would cut the margin to 11-5 with three runs in the eighth but Moye would answer with a two-run single in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of reach. The Spartans would add another run in the ninth before the Dolphins closed out the win.

JU and Upstate will conclude its series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday at John Sessions Stadium. The contest can only be viewed through livestats by logging onto