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April 20, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Senior Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill) became Upstate's all-time career hits leader with a fifth-inning line single to left-center field to highlight the USC Upstate baseball team's effort at No. 5 South Carolina on Tuesday night, as the Spartans succumbed to three unanswered runs, helping the Gamecocks take a 4-2 decision at Carolina Stadium. Tanner, with the historic hit, passed John Caddell (2004-07) for first on the all-time career list.
The Spartans (13-29 overall) took the lead in the top of the third for the first time in the four-game series history between the two schools, as freshman Brody Greer (Honea Path, S.C./Belton-Honea Path) singled up the middle, moved to second when junior Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) was hit by a pitch and scored on a single up the middle from senior Brian Dempsey (Montverde, Fla./East Ridge).
Meanwhile, freshman Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C./Great Falls) started out strong for the Spartans, retiring the first eight Gamecocks (29-8 overall) in order thanks to a second inning pickoff by senior catcher Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill) before allowing a walk to Drew Wingo, the Gamecocks' No. 9 batter, with two outs in the third.
The Spartans tacked on another run in the fourth inning, as sophomore Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill./University) led off with a single that blooped through the rght side and he took third when sophomore Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla./Trinity Prep) hit a ball off the pitcher that bounded into center field. After a groundout, pinch-hitting freshman Tyler Miller (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) lifted a sac fly into center to score Cook.
The Gamecocks used two hits and a groundout to get the a run closer in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Bumgardner left the tying run stranded on second by getting a strikeout and a groundout.
In the top of the fifth inning, Tanner, through a steady rain in the Columbia night, got his historic base hit, lining a laser into left-center field for No. 242 in his career. The ball was thrown off the field to a waiting Coach Fincher for Tanner.
The Gamecocks continued to chip away at Bumgardner, though, as they tied the game in the fifth with a single by Robert Beary, a sac bunt, a grounder to the right side and a two-out wild pitch that slid away from the catcher in the rain. In the sixth, the Gamecocks took a 4-2 lead thanks to two singles, a double down the left-field line by Nick Ebert and a sac fly.
From there, the Gamecocks bullpen were able to keep Upstate's bats silent, allowing just a walk and two-out ninth inning triple from Greer, his fourth of the season to tie for the team lead.
Greer led Upstate with three of the team's seven hits, going 3-for-4 with a run and a triple. Jackie Bradley, Jr., went 2-for-4 with two runs and Ebert went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double to lead the Gamecocks.
Bumgardner (0-5) took the hard-luck loss in the longest outing of his career, as he pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs. He walked two and struck out two.
Jose Mata (3-0) earned the win in relief for the Gamecocks, as he tossed 4 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and a walk. He struck out two. Ethan Carter earned his second save by tossing a scoreless ninth, striking out two. He allowed a hit.
Upstate continues its tough midweek when it heads to No. 26 Clemson for a 6:30 p.m. game Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.