HIGH POINT, N.C. (USC Upstate SID) – Fighting its way back to qualify for a conference championship game for the first time in program history, USC Upstate baseball left it all on the field as it battled until the very end, seeing its historic 2023 season come to a close Saturday afternoon against No. 1 seed Campbell with a 3-2 decision.
Taking the ball for the Spartans, redshirt sophomore right-hander Jake Cubbler—the team’s closer—put forth a Herculean effort as he pitched a career-long outing in both innings (6.0) and pitches (100) as he stymied the Campbell offense throughout the day. He scattered four hits and allowed just one run, stranding nine Camel baserunners as he left the game with a one-run lead as Upstate looked to force a winner-take-all game for the 2023 Big South Baseball Championship title.
For the fourth straight game in the tournament, the Spartans struck first as sophomore designated hitter Jace Rinehart dumped a single into right to drive home redshirt junior first baseman Grant Sherrod who tripled off the top of the wall in right. Upstate tacked on an insurance run in the fourth as junior second baseman Easton Cullison, after working a leadoff walk and stealing his 25th bag of the year, scored on a sac fly into the deep rightfield corner from redshirt junior leftfielder Daniel Gernon.
Trailing by two into the bottom of the sixth, Campbell began to scratch its way back into the game, drawing a bases-loaded walk to trim the Spartan advantage. In the eighth, the Camels swung the momentum using back-to-back solo homers to tie the game and take the lead, withstanding a Spartan threat in the ninth to hold on for the win.
Game Information
Score: No. 1 Campbell 3; No. 2 USC Upstate 2
Records: USC Upstate (38-22; 21-6 Big South); Campbell (44-13; 22-5 Big South)
Location: Truist Point | High Point, N.C.
Scoring Summary

  • T1: Following a triple off the top of the rightfield wall from Grant SherrodJace Rinehart dumped a single into right, driving home the game’s first run.
  • T4: Leading off the inning with a walk before stealing second and advancing to third on a groundout, Easton Cullison scored as Daniel Gernon lifted a sac fly deep into the rightfield corner.
  • B6: Loading the bases, Campbell pushed across its first run of the day as Dalen Thompson worked a walk with ducks on the pond.
  • B8: Tying the game and going ahead, the Camels saw back-to-back home runs from Lawson Harrill and Grant Knipp, scoring two runs for a 3-2 victory.


  • Earning his first career start, Jake Cubbler earned a quality start as he worked a career-long 6.0 innings behind a career-high 100 pitches as he scattered four hits and stranded nine baserunners as he struck out two while allowing one run. Over the past two weekends, he’s thrown 11.1 innings against Campbell, allowing just one run and six hits over four total appearances.
  • Advancing to the championship game of the 2023 Big South Baseball Championship, the program’s first conference championship game appearance capped a historic season for the program. The Spartans picked up a program-best 38 wins with a Division I era (2007-pres.) record 21 Big South wins while tying the Harley Park record for wins with 22 at home in 2023.
  • With the 2023 Big South Baseball Championship coming to a close, four Spartans found themselves on the event’s All-Tournament Team as Easton CullisonGrant SherrodJace Rinehart, and Reese Dutton earned spots on the team.