CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern piled up 21 hits and scored four runs in the first inning to get by visiting USC Upstate on Tuesday night at CSU Ballpark, 11-7.
The Buccaneers improve to 8-5 with the win, while Upstate falls to 7-7.
CSU's 21 hits match the most under Stuart Lake and the most since 2009, when the Bucs reached the total twice. The Bucs' seventh-year head coach was upbeat about his team's batting practice in pregame and felt, before the game started, his team was ready for a breakout game offensively.
"We had a great BP" Lake said. "It's spring break and our guys were out here working early," Lake said. "I thought we really stayed lock in. It was such a bizarre game that we had to stay with it."
The Bucs had six hits in the first inning to start fast, building a 4-0 lead, but Upstate rallied to tie the game in the sixth. The Spartans drew seven walks in the game and took advantage of CSU's control issuess, but the Bucs' offensive outburst proved to be the difference.
"This is a team traditionally that we've had some strange games against," Lake said. "I'm excited to see we came out and did what we did. Every run we scored, early and late, was very important."
Charleston Southern jumped on Upstate starter Dylan Parker in the first. CSU rattled off six hits – five singles – to race to a 4-0 lead. Robbie Streett had a double in the inning and the first four Bucs reached via base hit.
Upstate loaded the bases in the second on Bucs starter Dylan Lee, but the junior worked out of the jam by getting Cody Brittain to ground into inning-ending double play.
CSU's Cole Murphy added a sacrifice fly in the to score Nate Blanchard in the second and Sam Knight doubled and scored in the third as the Bucs built a 6-0 lead early.
A two-run single from Zach Krider in the fifth and ome runs by James Fowlkes and Cody Brittain fueled the Spartans' offense, but CSU answered right back in its late at-bats.
Back-to-back singles from WIdell and Murphy loaded the bases for a sacrifice fly from Shelton and an RBI double in the sixth. The Bucs added two more runs on four singles in the seventh to push the lead back out to 11-6.
Krider finished 3-for-5 with two RBI for Upstate. Reliever Tresco Shannon (LP, 0-1) took the loss, surrendering two runs in the sixth.
-CSU plays again on Wednesday at 4 p.m. against N.C. Central at CSU Ballpark.