The USC Upstate bats were off to a hot start as the Spartans jumped on five runs in the top of the second inning as they routed top-seeded Mercer, 10-1, in the day three of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship. The Spartan victory snaps a 12-game losing streak to the Mercer Bears that dates back to April 24, 2010.
USC Upstate (28-29; 9-18) now remains in the tournament with one loss after falling to Mercer 12-6 in the first round. The Spartans have now sent home two teams, including tournament host Stetson after shutting-out the Hatters 6-0 on Thursday. Mercer (43-16; 20-7) now drops from the tournament after suffering its first loss to ETSU, 7-4, earlier in the day.
Upstate starting pitcher Gaither Bumgardner worked his way through eight innings to pick up the win and improve to 6-2 on the year. Bumgardner tallied nine strikeouts, allowing only one run and eight hits while also doing his part at the plate. He finished 1-for-5 with one run.
Mercer burned through eight pitchers with starter Grant Papelian picking up the loss. Papelian now falls to 3-4 on the season after allowing four runs and five hits in the first two innings.
Every Spartan batter recorded at least one hit as the team compiled a total of 16 hits against the Bears. Six Spartans recorded multiple hits with centerfielder Tyler Lesch and first baseman Trey Richardson leading the way. Lesch finished 3-for-5 with one run and two RBI, making him 8-for-14 in the tournament with three runs and four RBI. Richardson finished the night 2-for-5 with one run and three RBI, making him 5-for-14 in the tournament.
Mercer third baseman Chesny Young picked up the only RBI for the Bears, while finishing 2-for-3. Young finishes the tournament 5-for-9 with five total RBIs. He pushed his single-season hit total to 100, which leads the NCAA and is tied for sixth-most in A-Sun history.
No. 8 USC Upstate will remain in the tournament to face No. 4 ETSU at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday.