SPARTANBURG, S.C. – In their first game in the starting lineup together, Southeast Guilford graduates Jeff Medley and Austin Moyer (Greensboro, N.C.) gave the USC Upstate baseball team the offensive boost it needed, combining to go 5-for-8 with seven runs, two RBIs and a homer to lead the Spartans past SIU Edwardsville in the nightcap of Saturday’s action at the Courtyard By Marriott Baseball Classic at Harley Park.
Medley, a freshman starting his second career game, went 2-for-4 with four runs scored and two walks and Moyer, a freshman starting his first collegiate game, went 3-for-4 with three runs, a homer and two RBIs.
The Cougars scored in each of the first three frames, stringing together five runs on seven hits, but in the bottom of each inning, the Spartans answered quickly. In the bottom of the first, down 1-0, sophomore Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) led off with a triple into the left-center field gap past a diving center fielder. He scored on a sac fly.
In the second, after three SIU Edwardsville runs crossed in the top of the frame, the Spartans got right back to work, as freshman Jeff Medley (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) led off with a single. After two outs, senior Kyle Simpson (Lyman, S.C./Byrnes) was hit by a pitch and Green walked to load the bases. Senior Eric Guillen (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks) came through with a base hit under a diving first baseman to score two runs and a single by junior Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr’s Mill) drove in Green to tie the game at four.
The Cougars got another run in the third inning before senior Phillip Myers (Louisville, Ky./Seminole C.C.) came in to get out of a runners on first and second with one out pickle by allowing just the lone tally. In the bottom of the inning, Upstate’s bats stepped up again, scoring another three runs to take a 7-5 lead. With one out, Medley drew a walk and freshman Austin Moyer (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) singled through the right side. Then senior Tommy Shovlin (Merritt Island, Fla./Daytona Beach C.C.) hit a grounder to third and the Cougar third baseman tried to tag the runner Medley at third before he could get back to the bag. Medley slid in safely and everyone was safe to load the bases for Simpson, who walked to drive in a run. A fielder’s choice drove in Moyer and another single by Guillen scored Shovlin.
Upstate scratched single tallies across in the next two innings, as Medley walked with two outs in the fourth. Moyer added a single to move Medley to third, where he scored on a wild pitch. In the fifth, Green led off with a walk and Guillen followed with a double to move Green to third, where he scored on a groundout.
The Spartans exploded with four more runs to take a commanding 13-5 lead in the sixth, as Medley led off with a single to left and Moyer followed with a homer over the right-center field wall. The rally wasn’t over though, as Shovlin followed with a single. After wild pitch and a bunt single by Simpson, Green hit a line shot off the pitcher’s leg to score Shovlin. After a fielder’s choice, a single up the middle by Tanner loaded the bases and a throwing error by the right fielder allowed Green to score on a fly ball.
Upstate tacked on its final two runs in the seventh, as junior Brian Dempsey (Montverde, Fla./East Ridge) led off by getting hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on a fly out. Moyer and freshman Tyler Cook (Bloomington, Ill./University) each walked to load the bases and Green drove two runners in with a single to left center.
Meanwhile, Myers sliced through the Cougars’ lineup, earning his first win of the season with five innings of three-hit shutout baseball. The southpaw walked one and struck out four before yielding to freshman Ryan Fern (Oviedo, Fla./Winter Springs) and junior Tyler Oliver (Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill), who each tossed scoreless frames to close the game.
Spencer Patton (0-1) took the loss for SIUE, as he tossed 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits.
Green finished 3-for-4 with four runs and four RBIs, posting a triple in the game and Guillen added a 3-for-5 game with four RBIs. Tanner went 2-for-6 with two RBIs, as Upstate posted 16 hits and scored 15 runs, the second-most in a game in the DI-era.
SIU Edwardsville was led by Cholos Norris III, who was 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI and Mike Hurt, who also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
In other action at Harley Park on Saturday, George Mason swept UNC Asheville in a doubleheader, winning by scores of 7-1 and 6-2. At Russell C. King Field in the other location involved in the Courtyard by Marriott Baseball Classic, Virginia Tech swept Wofford in a doubleheader by scores of 14-10 and 10-2.
The Courtyard by Marriott Baseball Classic continues on Sunday, as SIU Edwardsville plays George Mason at 11 a.m. at Harley Park before the Spartans wrap up their portion of the classic by facing Virginia Tech at 2 p.m. at Harley Park. At Russell C. King Field, Wofford will close its portion of the tournament by facing UNC Asheville at 3 p.m.
Todd Ellison threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game with SIU Edwardsville. Ellison, who earned four letters with the Spartans in 1987-90, still holds the school record for career home runs with 45 and is a member of the Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame.