The USC Upstate baseball team used a six-run first inning to win its fourth straight game on Wednesday after defeating the Winthrop Eagles 12-3 at Harley Park.
Upstate evens its record at 5-5 while Winthrop falls to 7-4.
Zac Manuppelli (1-0) earned the win after tossing four scoreless innings of relief and gave up just three hits and two walks while registering four strikeouts. Riley Arnone (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing six runs (one earned) on four hits, one walk and no strikeouts in 0.2 inning pitched.
The Spartans chased Arnone with two outs in the bottom of the first after scoring six runs on five hits highlighted by a three-run homer to left field by Cody Brittain. Charlie Carpenter started the scoring with his one-out single to right field and Jake Beaver followed with another RBI single to right. James Fowlkes, who reached on an Eagle fielding error, scored from third on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Stephen Dowling. Brittain hit his first home run of the season on a 2-1 pitch from Arnone and brought home Beaver and Carpenter.
Upstate increased its lead to 9-0 after putting up three runs in its half of the third inning. Brittain led off the inning with a single and moved to third on two wild pitches by Winthrop reliever Austin Lawrence. Erik Samples drove in Brittain with his RBI double to right field and then scored in the next at-bat on a triple to left center field by Fowlkes. Fowlkes would later come home on a passed ball.
Spartan starter Dylan Parker limited the Eagles to two hits over the first three innings before Winthrop cut the lead down to 9-3 in the bottom of the fourth after scoring three runs. Babe Thomas tripled to center field to lead off the inning and Anthony Paulsen drove him in with a single on a 0-1 pitch to center field. Paulsen and Mark Lowrie, who also singled, then came home on a two RBI single from Roger Gonzalez.
Manuppelli and Jordan Miller would then combine over the next five innings to hold the Eagles to three hits as Upstate added three more runs in the eighth to make it a 12-3 contest. Beaver and Zach Krider each had RBI singles in the inning with one out. Brittain recorded his fourth RBI in the game two batters later with his sacrifice fly to center field.
Miller pitched a scoreless top of the ninth and struck out one to give the Spartans their fourth straight win of the season.
Brittain finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBI and two runs scored, and Beaver had a team-high three hits. Samples, Krider, Brittain and Jaden Savage each collected two hits.
Gonzalez led Winthrop with three hits and two RBI.
The Spartans begin a three-game series with Valparaiso Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.