SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Ball State baseball team suffered its first loss of the 2012 season Saturday afternoon as the Cardinals were limited to three hits while dropping a 10-1 decision to USC Upstate at Cleveland S. Harley Park. The Cardinals are now 1-1 on the season while the Spartans improve to 2-0 this year with both wins coming against Mid-American Conference teams (12-1 vs. Eastern Michigan).
Sophomore left-hander Nestor Bautista (New York, N.Y./George Washington) was charged with the loss in his first career weekend start. Bautista only lasted 1.1 innings and allowed seven runs on six hits while walking three batters.
USC Upstate got off to a quick start as it scored a run in the bottom of the first inning as Jordan Stampler drew a leadoff walk and quickly stole second base. Giather Bumgardner drove in the game's first run with a single to right field.
Ball State quickly answered back in the top of the second inning against USC Upstate starter Scott DeCecco. Sophomore Sean Godfrey (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) led off the inning with a double and the Cardinals loaded the bases with a hit by pitch and a single from catcher Mitch Overley (Zionsville, Ind./Brebeuf). Junior Wes Winkle (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) tied the game at one as he lined out to left field, plating Godfrey.
The Spartans broke the game open in the bottom of the second inning as they scored six runs on five hits in the inning. Bumgardner once again had the big hit of the inning as he posted a three-run double down the left field line to end Bautista's afternoon. USC Upstate added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to run the score to 10-1.
Freshman right-hander Scott Baker (North Manchester, Ind./Manchester) made his first collegiate appearance and worked 3.0 innings and allowed three runs while striking out three. Junior Chris Marangon (Maple Valley, Wash./Edmunds CC) made his first appearance as a Cardinal and worked 1.1 shutout innings while sophomore Tyler Jordan (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
DeCecco picked up the win for the Spartans as he tossed 5.0 innings and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out five.
Ball State returns to action in Spartanburg Sunday afternoon as it faces Wofford. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. with sophomore right-hander T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) taking the hill for the Cardinals.