HIGH POINT, N.C. – Beginning its quest for a conference title and continuing its historic 2023 season, USC Upstate baseball advanced in the 2023 Big South Baseball Championship as it tied a program record with its 37th victory, earning a 10-4 win over No. 3 seed Winthrop Thursday night at Truist Point.
Setting the tone for the victory, redshirt junior right-hander Reese Dutton continued to prove his status as the team’s ace, earning his league-high and program-record-tying 10th victory as he worked 7.0 innings, scattering eight hits and one run, earning his ninth quality start. On the night, he racked up six strikeouts, giving him 102 for the season, surpassing Jordan Mark’s 2021 total of 101 punchouts for the program’s single-season record.
At the plate, the Spartans scored early and often as they scored in each of the first four innings before posting their biggest inning with a four-spot in the sixth. Over the first three frames, Upstate’s lead grew exponentially, growing from one, to two, to four by the end of the third frame, growing to as many as nine during the night.
Score: No. 2 USC Upstate 10; No. 3 Winthrop 4
Records: USC Upstate (37-20; 21-6 Big South); Winthrop (27-27; 15-12 Big South)
Location: Truist Point | High Point, N.C.
- B1: Following up a leadoff single with a pair of wild pitches, Cole Caruso worked his way into scoring position before scoring as Grant Sherrod hit a single back through the middle to open the game’s scoring.
- B2: Seeing another leadoff hit come into score, this time Adam Grob, Upstate added a run as Jake Armsey lifted a fly ball deep into the rightfield corner for a sac fly.
- B3: Getting another leadoff baserunner, the Spartans scored a third run as Kyle Henington raced home to score on a fielding error by the Winthrop shortstop. Upstate added another run as Daniel Gernon hit a sac fly deep down the rightfield line, pushing the lead to 4-0.
- B4: Adding the first of two runs to the scoreboard in the fourth, Upstate used its third sacrifice fly, a deep drive to the wall in center from Jace Rinehart to hang the fifth run on the board. Easton Cullison produced the first of his three RBI, ripping a single through the right side.
- T6: Getting on the board, Winthrop scratched its first run of the game as Will Martin laced an opposite-field, RBI single to left-center.
- B6: Answering the run in the top half of the inning, the Spartans sent 10 men to the plate as they scored four runs in the inning behind a pair of two-run hits. Cullison delivered the first with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield with David Pereira landing a two-run double down the leftfield line.
- T8: Loading the bases with three consecutive one-out singles, the Eagles’ fourth straight single drove home a pair of runs with Brody Hopkins plating the runs.
- T9: Working two runners in scoring position following a walk and double, Winthrop scored its final run on a groundout from Joseph Szvetitz.
- Tossing 7.0 innings and striking out six, Reese Dutton earned his league-best 10th victory behind his ninth quality start of the season. With his six strikeouts, he upped his season total to 102, setting the new program single-season strikeout mark while his 10th win ties him with Jordan Marks (2021) for the most victories in school history.
- Leading to three of the team’s 10 runs, Upstate added three sacrifice flies to its season total, giving it 46 for the season. The team’s total ranks second in the NCAA, sitting one behind the nation’s leader UC Irvine.
- With its victory Thursday, Upstate secured its 37th win of the season, tying the program record for single-season wins set by the 2021 club. Adding to the team’s 35 wins from a season ago, the 2022-23 seasons tie the 2021-22 seasons for the winningest consecutive seasons in program history.
Up Next for the Spartans
With its win, Upstate advances to play No. 1 Campbell for a spot in the Big South Championship Game as the Spartans and Camels meet Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET.