USC Upstate right fielder Noah Myers transferred from South Carolina after appearing in 41 games over two seasons with the Gamecocks. Some of Myers’ former teammates were probably happy to reunite with him prior to first pitch at Founders Park. But after Myers went 4 for 5 with two doubles and led the Spartans to a 9-6 win over USC, Tuesday, it’s likely the Gamecocks pitching staff is more than happy to see the lanky speed demon head back up I-26 and return to his new digs in Spartanburg.
Upstate took control early and kept the pressure on, putting the leadoff hitter on base in five of nine innings. Gamecocks freshman righthander Eli Jones (1-1) escaped a bases loaded jam in the first, but his luck ran out quickly as Upstate pushed across four runs in the second. Myers laced a single to right, plating Grant Sherrod before scoring himself as part of the rally. Jones exited the game shortly, thereafter, with an undisclosed injury.
The Gamecocks chipped away at the Spartans lead with a run in the second and Josiah Sightler’s solo homer in the fourth. Each time USC pulled closer, however, Upstate (30-18) answered back with authority. Myers doubled and scored in the fifth and Sherrod’s two-run homer in the sixth extended the lead to 7-2. The Spartans infield misplayed Brandt Belk’s pop up in the bottom half of the sixth, helping the Gamecocks climb back to 7-5, but the pattern repeated itself as Myers doubled home another run in the eighth, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Upstate’s victory snaps USC’s six-game home winnng streak. Belk (2-5) picked up three RBI and raised his season average to .345. Sightler’s home run was his 12th of the season. The Gamecocks’ (24-23) five-game homestand continues Friday against conference foe Kentucky. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.