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April 24, 2009
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Senior Phillip Morgan (Campobello, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) kept up his torrid hitting as he went 2-for-5 with two RBI and senior Eric Guillen (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks) also added two hits, but the USC Upstate baseball team fell victim to a two-homer and 14-hit Florida Gulf Coast attack, as FGCU beat Upstate, 14-6, to open the first of a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference set at Swanson Stadium on Friday.
Morgan tied a career high as he extended his hitting streak to 12 games while junior Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill) also extended his hitting streak to 13 games, also tying a career-high.
The Eagles (23-16 overall, 14-5 A-Sun) jumped out to a four-run lead in the first three innings, scoring a single run in the second on two doubles and then adding three runs in the third with Tim Roberson hitting a two-run homer to center field. Upstate (10-31 overall, 3-19 A-Sun) cut the lead to two runs in the fifth inning, as junior Jacob Breen (Marietta, Ga./Birmingham Southern) reached on an error, took second when senior Kyle Simpson (Lyman, S.C./Byrnes) was hit by a pitch and scored on a single up the middle by senior Tommy Shovlin (Merritt Island, Fla./Daytona Beach C.C.).
FGCU got four more runs in the fifth to take an 8-1 lead, as Josh Chester hit a two-run homer to right field during the frame. Two more runs on three hits came in the sixth for the Eagles, capped by a single from Brad Roberts.
The Spartans made it 10-3 in the top of the eighth as they scored two runs. Shovlin walked with one out and junior Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill) followed with a single to left field, extending his hitting streak to a career-high tying 13 games. Morgan followed with a single through the left side to load the bases. After a strikeout, sophomore Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) deposited a two-run single into left field.
The Eagles posted four runs in the eighth, though, to take a 14-3 lead. Freshman Austin Moyer (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) closed the gap to 10 runs with a towering homer just over the right-field foul pole to lead off the ninth. Upstate kept the late rally alive, as Simpson walked and senior Eric Guillen (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks) was hit by a pitch. After a strikeout and a groundout that moved the runners up, Morgan singled into center field to score two runs.
Zach Maxfield went 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBI and a double and Mikel Alvarez, Steven Wickens and Brad Roberts each added two hits for the Eagles.
Chris Sale (6-3) earned the win for FGCU, pitching seven innings, allowing four hits and an unearned run. He walked one and struck out seven. Freshman Ryan Fern (Oviedo, Fla./Winter Springs) (1-6) took the loss, as he threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and eight runs.
Upstate wraps up its trip to Florida's West Coast with a doubleheader against FGCU on Saturday at 1 p.m.