SPARTANBURG, S.C., - The FGCU baseball team saw its season-best seven game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss at Atlantic Sun Conference rival USC Upstate. The Eagles fall to 37-14 overall and 24-7 in the league while USC Upstate improves to 24-28 and 16-15.
USC Upstate scored in the first when Eric Guillen singled to lead off. The Eagles appeared to get out of trouble, turning a double play on the next batter, but Andrew Runion reached on an error to keep the first inning alive for the Spartans. After a wild pitch, Kyle Simpson singled to drive in the first run for USC Upstate. The Spartans added a much needed insurance run in the fifth. A pair of singles and a wild pitch led to a run for USC Upstate and they carried their 2-0 lead into the ninth.
Ozzie Borrell (Hialeah, Fla.) broke up the shutout with his seventh homer of the season. Casey Coleman (Cape Coral, Fla.) followed with a single and Vinnie Scarduzio (Jupiter, Fla.) drew a two out walk. However, Upstate starter Matt Branham was able to end the threat with a groundout to first base.
Branham threw a complete game to improve to 6-5, allowing just six hits and a pair of walks while striking out eight batters. FGCU starter Richard Bleier (Davie, Fla.) picked up his first loss of the season after giving up two runs, one earned, in 7.0 innings. He scattered six hits with a pair of walks as he fell to 7-1 on the year. Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) extended his hitting streak to 11 games for FGCU. Borrell’s ninth inning solo homer was the other offensive highlight for FGCU.
The series and the season for both teams will conclude with tomorrow’s double-header with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 pm.