Diamond ‘Dogs Down USC Upstate, 10-5, in Midweek Clash

Chandler Redmond
Chandler Redmond

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Gardner-Webb scored nine unanswered runs to propel itself to a 10-5 midweek win at USC Upstate on Wednesday evening. 

Gardner-Webb improved to 12-14 on the season, while USC Upstate dropped to a 13-15 overall record.

The Runnin' Bulldogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as GWU led off the frame with three consecutive singles, capped by an RBI base knock up the middle by Corey Howard that plated Paul Trick.

The Spartans would respond in the bottom of the second inning, leading off with a triple to center field by J.J. Shimko.   A groundout by Drake Harris would score Shimko, and USC Upstate would claim the lead with two outs on a 2-run double by Pat Raiff, followed by an RBI single by Hunter Gilbert, giving the Spartans a 4-1 advantage. 

Gardner-Webb would score solo runs in the third and fourth innings on a RBI single to left field by Howard and a fielding error by third baseman Hawkins that scored Chandler Redmond, cutting the deficit to 4-3 after four complete innings. 

The Diamond 'Dogs would reclaim the lead in the top of the fifth inning, as Redmond blasted a two-run shot to dead center, clearing the batters eye, with two outs to put GWU up 5-4. 

GWU tacked on two runs the top of the sixth, the first coming off of an error by second baseman Gilbert that allowed Trick to score, and the second coming off of an RBI double to left field by Collin Thacker.

The Runnin' Bulldogs expanded their lead to 9-4 in the top of the seventh on an RBI single to right field by Mason Fox and a sacrifice fly by Mickey Dugan, plating Redmond. 

A sacrifice fly to deep center field by Fox in the top of the eighth scored Thacker, who led of the frame with a base hit, which expanded GWU's lead to 10-4.

The Spartans would attempt to rally in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with two outs, with C Carpenter drawing a walk from reliever Wil Sellers to plate one run, but Sellers would get Shimko to fly out to center field to end the game.

The Runnin' Bulldogs collected 14 base hits throughout the evening, led by Redmond (3-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 3 runs) and Trick (3-for-6, 2B, RBI, 3 runs) 

USC Upstate tallied 11 base hits, with Gilbert (2-for-5, RBI), Shimko (2-for-5, 3B, RBI), Raiff (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, run), and Russell Schwertfeger, (2-for-4, run) earning the bulk of the base knocks.

Landon Mitchell earned the win on the mound for the Diamond 'Dogs, tossing 5.0 innings with five strikeouts, allowing four earned runs.

Bryan Hathaway took the loss for the Spartans in 3.0 innings out of the bullpen, allowing three earned runs with three strikeouts.  Starter Will Wheeler lasted 2.0 innings, giving up two runs on six hits with three strikeouts.

Gardner-Webb will get back into Big South Conference action on Friday, traveling to High Point, N.C. to take on High Point at 6:00 pm.  The game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).