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Spartans' Late Rally Falls Short At Wake Forest

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Senior Phillip Morgan drove in a career-high six RBIs at Wake Forest on Tuesday.

Senior Phillip Morgan drove in a career-high six RBIs at Wake Forest on Tuesday.

April 7, 2009

Final Stats

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Senior Phillip Morgan (Spartanburg, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) fell a triple short of the cycle, going 4-for-6 with a homer, a double, two singles and a career-high six RBIs, and the USC Upstate baseball team posted an eight-run eighth inning but Wake Forest posted runs in seven straight innings to post a 20-14 win over the Upstate on Tuesday night at Wake Forest Baseball Park in non-conference action.

Morgan had singles in the first and third innings before taking a ball off the left-field wall in the seventh inning and hitting a three-run homer in the eighth, as the Spartans (7-23 overall) posted one of its strongest offensive performances of the season, pounding out 14 hits and reaching on eight walks.

A single by freshman Jeff Medley (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) started the eighth-inning rally with a single up the middle that the second baseman got his glove on. Then freshman Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla./Trinity Prep) reached on an error and senior Kyle Simpson (Lyman, S.C./Byrnes) singled down the left field line to score Medley. Senior Eric Guillen (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks) followed with a single up the middle to score Liput and junior Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill) reached on a short-hop error by the shortstop to score Simpson. Senior Phillip Morgan (Campobello, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) then blasted a three-run homer to left field to make the score, 18-12.

Upstate's rally continued, though, as sophomore Blake Stickley (Monroe, N.C./Weddington) walked and senior Tommy Shovlin (Merritt Island, Fla./Daytona Beach C.C.) also walked before a fielder's choice came for the first out. Then Medley walked and Liput lifted a sac fly to left field to score Stickley. Simpson and Guillen also walked to force in Shovlin, making the score 18-14. The Spartans even got a tying run to the plate, but a groundout ended the inning.

Wake Forest (18-12 overall) came up with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to go back up by six runs, as Ian Tomkins hit a homer to left.

A six-run bottom of the third helped Wake Forest overcome a two-run deficit and take a 7-3 lead. A two-run double by Tyler Smith and a bases clearing three-run double by Austin Sadler provided the damage for the Demon Deacons.

The Spartans cut the lead to three runs in the fourth inning, as Liput walked with one out and Simpson dropped down a sac bunt and reached after a dropped throw. Guillen followed by drilling a single up the middle to score Liput.

Wake Forest got another run in the bottom of the fourth, although three singles and a walk led to just the one run thanks to a nice play by Tanner, who cut down a runner at the plate with a perfect throw after a wild pitch got past him.

The Deacons kept the pressure on, scoring five more runs in fifth inning, capped by a three-run homer from Weldon Woodall. Another run crossed in the sixth, thanks to a walks and a single.

Upstate got two runs back in the top of the seventh, as Guillen led off with a walk and then Tanner and Morgan each followed with doubles off the wall, with Tanner's going to left field and Morgan hit the base of the right-center field wall. However, the Deacons scored four in the bottom of the inning capped by a two-run double by Carlos Lopez.

Simpson got the Spartans on the board in the first inning, as he singled into center field to lead off. After a sac bunt moved him to second a strikeout for the second out, Morgan singled into right field, bringing in Simpson from second.

The Spartans expanded the lead in the second inning, as Shovlin hit a bouncer up the middle to reach. After a fielder's choice put senior Ryan Wilkins (Spartanburg, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) on and a strikeout, Liput singled into left and Simpson followed with a single into left, bringing Wilkins in, who slid around the tag from the catcher, going wide to the left and reaching out with his hand to get the plate.

The Demon Deacons got on the board in the bottom of the inning thanks to a walk and two base hits, but Upstate took its two-run back in the third inning, as Tanner led off with a walk and Morgan followed with a single down the right-field line to move him to third base. A passed ball brought in Tanner, making it 3-1.

The top four hitters in Upstate's lineup went 10-for-18 with eight runs scored and 12 RBIs, as Simpson went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and Guillen went 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI. Tanner scored three runs and added an RBI, setting up cleanup hitter Morgan. Liput went 2-for-3 with two runs and a RBI in the nine-hole.

Two Demon Deacons were led by two four-hit games, as Tyler Smith went 4-for-5 with two runs and three RBI and Evan Ocheltree went 4-for-4 with four runs and three RBI.

Brad Kledzik (2-4) earned the win for the Demon Deacons, pitching five innings and allowing seven hits and four runs. He walked two and struck out five. Senior Dennis McCraney (Catawba, S.C./Rock Hill) (2-1) took the loss, pitching 2 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and five runs. He walked four and struck out one.

Upstate returns home to Harley Park on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game against rival Presbyterian.

USC Upstate Baseball
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