FORT MYERS, Fla. – USC Upstate pounded out 17 hits and received a 135-pitch outing from sophomore Scott DeCecco en route to a 12-5 Atlantic Sun win over the FGCU baseball team on Friday night at Swanson Stadium.
The loss snaps a four-game A-Sun win streak for the Eagles who fall to 12-11 on the season and 6-4 in conference play. The Spartans improve to 9-14 overall and 3-5 in the A-Sun.
After the lead changed hands in each of the first two innings, DeCecco settled down and held the Eagles scoreless over his final five innings. In all, the left-hander went seven innings with six strikeouts and six walks, allowing four earned runs.
With FGCU leading 4-3 after two full innings, Upstate took the lead for good and knocked the Blue and Green’s starting pitcher Jason Forjet (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Nova HS) from the game in the top of the third. The Spartans plated three runs off of Forjet to take a 6-4 advantage and end the right-handers night after just 2.2 innings.
DeCecco settled down and sat down the next nine FGCU batters, as the game featured 17 outs in a row from the bottom of the third until the top of the sixth.
Sophomore R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) relieved Forjet in the third and retired eight of the first nine batters he faced until giving up three runs in the sixth that pushed the Upstate lead to 9-4.
A three-run seventh by the Spartans gave the visitors a 12-4 lead before FGCU got a run back in its last at-bat off an RBI double by senior Mikel Alvarez (Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS).
Upstate finished with a 17-7 advantage in hits off of five different FGCU pitchers. Senior Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) extended his hit streak to 10 games with an RBI single, while classmate Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair Secondary) went 2-for-5 from the leadoff spot. Junior Javi Sujo (Miami, Fla./Miami Sunset HS/Middle Georgia College), who entered the game with a .500 batting average in A-Sun action, drove home two runs on a single.
The two teams will close out the weekend three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.