CHARLESTON, S.C. - Defensive miscues came back to haunt Charleston Southern on Tuesday night in Lexington County Baseball Stadium as the Buccaneers fell in their midweek matchup against USC Upstate, 10-2.
CSU's (12-10) defense struggled on the night with five errors, three coming in the top of the sixth that led to four Upstate (13-14) runs as the Spartans tied up the season series against CSU. The Bucs took the first matchup against the Spartans at the CSU Ballpark back on March 1, 4-3.
Tyler Weekley (2-2) suffered the loss for the Bucs going 3.0 innings and allowing six hits and four runs while striking out two. Evan Nations pitched effectively in relief with three strikeouts over the final 4.1 innings for CSU.
Blake Whitney (3-2) picked up the win in the rematch between the two teams, going 5.0 innings and striking out six in the victory. The Upstate bullpen allowed five hits and three runs over the final four innings to close out the win.
Mike Sconzo and Kyle Vesnesky led the Bucs at the plate with two hits apiece in the loss, while Nate Blanchard connected on his sixth double in the bottom of the fifth to pace the Bucs. Brandon Gragilla scored twice to lead the Bucs on the base paths.
Upstate was paced by a pair of two-run singles by Jake Bourke in taking the win. Charlie Carpenter added a pair of hits and two RBI in the contest. Drake Harris also added two RBI for the Spartans.
Upstate took the early 4-0 lead in the top of the third as the first four batters of the inning reached base. Carpenter singled in the first run with a base hit up the middle, while J.J. Shimko brought in a pair with a double off the fence down the right field line. Harris brought home the fourth Upstate run with a base hit just in front of the CSU right fielder to give the Spartans the four-run advantage.
Bourke added two more to the Spartans' totals in the fifth with a two-run single to centerfield scoring Brendan Brundage and Shimko to stretch the lead to 6-0.
CSU took one back in the bottom of the inning as Nate Blanchard connected on his sixth double of the season down the right field line scoring Vesnesky.
Three CSU errors allowed four Upstate runs to cross in the sixth with Bourke again driving in two with a base hit to centerfield as the Spartans took the 10-1 lead.
Cody Smith put the Bucs on the board in the bottom of the inning with a one-out sacrifice fly bringing home Gragilla. Gragilla led off the frame with a walk and advanced to third on a pair of singles by Sconzo and Vesnesky before the Smith fly out.
The Bucs loaded the bases with none out in the eighth against Upstate reliever Sam Rogers. Vesnesky brought in a run with a bases-loaded walk scoring Gragilla to cut into the Spartans' lead. Sconzo came around to score on Smith's groundout to narrow the Upstate lead down to 10-4.
Nations kept the Spartans off the board over the final three innings to give CSU a chance heading into their final at-bats. Chris Singleton and Jason Miller led off the ninth with back-to-back singles before Upstate reliever Cory Bartholomew closed out the side to end the contest.
Charleston Southern hosts Savannah State on Wednesday night at the CSU Ballpark. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.