Boiling Springs, N.C. – Dylan Parker struck out a season-high five hitters and earned his second win of the season to lead USC Upstate to a 7-2 victory over Gardner-Webb Wednesday from John H. Moss Stadium.
Parker lasted a season-high six innings, scattered seven hits and allowed one earned run. Tyler Jackson, Eric Birklund and Richie Lacell each pitched a scoreless inning in relief and retired the final six outs via strikeout.
Gardner-Webb starting pitcher Jeremy Walker (1-2) took the loss after giving up three runs on six hits in five innings of work.
Upstate shortstop Daniel Fickas finished with three hits, two runs and one RBI for his fifth game of the season with three hits.
Sam Kysor put Upstate ahead 1-0 with an RBI double in the top of the third inning. Fickas reached with a one-out single up the middle and scored two batters later when Kysor, who entered the game in the second inning, collected his first double and second RBI of the season.
Gardner-Webb answered with a run in the bottom of the third when Henry Rundio sprinted home from third as Ryan Hodge was caught stealing second. The Runnin’ Bulldogs scored an unearned run in the fourth inning on an RBI double from Brantley Smith to take the lead.
Upstate regained the lead in the fifth inning by scoring runs on RBIs from Fickas and Kysor to go ahead 3-2. Cody Brittain drew a walk to open the inning and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Miller. Fickas followed by lacing an opposite field double to right to bring in Brittain, and Kysor registered his first career multi-RBI game when he slapped a single through the right side to drive in Fickas.
Samples gave Upstate a 4-2 lead in the seventh after scoring from second when Smith threw wide of first as he attempted to retire Kysor on a dropped third strike. The Spartans went on to add two more runs later in the inning on a two-run single from Stephen Dowling to help Upstate open up a 6-2 advantage.
The Spartans pushed across another run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Jake Beaver to score Kysor.
USC Upstate returns to the diamond Friday at 6 p.m. when the Spartans welcome Stetson to Harley Park for a three-game series.