USC-Upsate Takes Out First-Place Kennesaw State, 7-5

Junior Teddy Fallon got two double plays in the last two innings to lead Upstate past the first-place Owls on Sunday.
Junior Teddy Fallon got two double plays in the last two innings to lead Upstate past the first-place Owls on Sunday.

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

KENNESAW, Ga. – Senior Teddy Fallon (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Boston College) got two huge double plays in the eighth and ninth innings to help hold off late rallies from Atlantic Sun Conference-leading Kennesaw State on Easter Sunday at Stillwell Stadium, as the USC Upstate baseball team fought back from a three-run deficit to post a 7-5 win.

With runners at first and third with no outs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a double and a single, Fallon hunkered down to get a strikeout and then got a grounder to senior first baseman Phillip Morgan (Campobello, S.C./Spoartanburg Methodist), who fielded the ball on a hop with his glove touching the edge of first base. He then fired down to second base, where freshman shortstop Austin Liput (Oviedo, Fla./Trinity Prep) put the tag on the runner before the runner on third could score.

Fallon got some great defensive help in the ninth, too, as the leadoff batter reached on an infield single. The next batter, though, grounded into a double play, started by freshman third baseman Jeff Medley (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford), and Fallon struck out the next batter to end the game.

Fallon (2-0) pitched a career-high four innings to earn the win, allowing four hits, a walk and an unearned run in the seventh inning. He struck out four.

Upstate (9-25 overall, 3-15 A-Sun) took the two-run lead in the top of the eighth inning by manufacturing two runs, thanks to a little Easter luck and some deceptive decision-making. Senior Tommy Shovlin (Merritt Island, Fla./Daytona Beach C.C.) hit a hot shot up the middle that looked to be headed for a diving shortstop’s glove, but it hit second base and trickled into right-center to lead off the inning. Senior Eric Guillen (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks) followed by pulling back a bunt and drilling a fastball into left-center field. With two strikes, junior Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr’s Mill) followed with a beautiful sac bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Morgan followed with a single into center field to score Shovlin and Guillen scored on a sac fly by freshman Austin Moyer (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford).

Upstate tied the game at three in the top of the third inning with three runs. Shovlin started the rally with a leadoff single. After a pop out, Tanner blooped a single into right field and Morgan drew a walk to load the bases. Moyer followed with a five-pitch walk to drive in Upstate’s first run and a fielder’s choice by Medley drove in Tanner to make it a one-run game. Sophomore Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) followed with a single into center field to drive in Morgan from third.

The Spartans took a two-run lead in the fifth inning, as Morgan notched a one-out infield single and Moyer added another infield single to third base. After Medley walked to load the bases, Green delivered a rope into right field to score Morgan and sophomore Keith Bisgounis (Oviedo, Fla./Oviedo) reached on a fielder’s choice to score Moyer and give Upstate a 5-3 lead.

The Owls (17-13 overall, 10-4 A-Sun) loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning, but only got one run, after a single and two walks loaded the bases, but junior reliever Tyler Oliver (Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill) got Upstate out of the inning by getting a groundball double play to score a run and then ending the inning by making a nice play to recover after a line drive hit his foot, tossing the runner out easily.

Kennesaw State tied the game at five in the bottom of the sixth, using two walks, a hit and a two-out error to score the run. The Upstate defense tightened after that, though, as Medley made a diving stop of a hot grounder destined for extra bases with one out in the seventh to help spark the Spartans to the deflating double plays in the eighth and ninth.

A leadoff triple by Jacob Robbins helped pace Kennesaw State to a three-run first inning as the first four batters in the inning posted hits before a diving catch in center field by sophomore Blake Green (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) recorded the first out.

Morgan led Upstate at the dish, going 4-for-4 with two runs and a RBI and both Green and Tanner each had three hits. Green had two RBI and Tanner added a run. Shovlin finished with two hits and two runs as the Spartans posted 14 hits.

Jacob Robbins and Curtis Van Wyck each had three hits for Kennesaw State, which had 13 hits and left nine men on base in the game.

Ryan Rodebaugh (1-1) took the loss for Kennesaw State, allowing two runs and four hits in three innings. He struck out two.

Upstate wraps up its four-game road trip on Tuesday when it takes the short trip North on I-26 to face UNC Asheville at 3 p.m.