Spartanburg, S.C. - The #20 Stetson Hatters rebounded from a tough Friday night loss to sweep a doubleheader from Atlantic Sun Conference foe USC Upstate on Saturday in Spartanburg. The Hatters took the first game 9-2 and then won 10-4 in the afternoon. Stetson improved to 22-7 overall and 9-3 (1st place) in the Atlantic Sun Conference. USC Upstate fell to 11-18 overall and 5-8 in conference play
Ben Carhart (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Mark Jones (Bunnell, Fla.) each had four hits on the afternoon. Jones led the way with four runs scored and Carhart was the team's top RBI man with four. Junior second baseman Robert Crews' (Port Charlotte, Fla.) 15-game hitting streak came to an end in the early game (0-for-4), yet he made up for it quickly with his 3rd home run of the season in his first at bat of game two. With hits in each game this weekend Jones extended his current hitting streak to 10 games.
"I am really happy after last night's disappointment", said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. "Winning a doubleheader is not easy. I am proud of the way the guys came out today. We showed up ready to play. We have to be happy with that."
In the first game of the day Stetson jumped out to a quick lead with a pair of runs in the first inning and never looked back. Carhart had the key hit of the inning, a two-RBI single to left field with the bases loaded.
The Hatters added single runs in the 5th and 6th innings before putting the game out of reach with four in the 7th. Jones led off with a single through the left side, stole second, stole third, and then scored on a wild pitch. Robert Bruce (Sarasota, Fla.) walked and eventually scored on an RBI single by Spencer Theisen (Longwood, Fla.), and then Jeff Simpson (Valrico, Fla.) knocked in Theisen and Trey Blackman (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) with a single up the middle.
Stetson fans had another scare when starting pitcher Kurt Schluter (Jupiter, Fla.) was struck in the right shoulder by a hard groundball up the middle in the 5th inning. An injury had forced starter Lindsey Caughel (Orlando, Fla.) out of Friday's game after just two innings. Schluter recovered and finished the inning, yet his day ended there when the shoulder started to stiffen during the break. He tossed five innings allowing no runs on six hits, struck out four and improved to 5-0 on the season.
Kyle Zech (Naples, Fla.), Jones and Carhart each finished the game with a pair of hits. Zech was 2-for-5, Jones was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and Carhart was 2-for-4 with three RBI. On the mound Jake Boyd (West Palm Beach, Fla.) picked up for Schluter and threw the final four innings and earned his 4th save of the season. He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out three.
In game two of the doubleheader Stetson jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Crews' solo shot in the first inning and then made a statement with its six-run 3rd inning. Theisen opened with a one-out infield single, advanced on a throwing error, and then scored on an RBI single up the middle by Simpson. Simpson scored when the next batter, Zech belted one to right center and legged out his first career triple.
The 6th continued with Zech scoring on a miscue by the left fielder off the bat of Crews. Crews moved to third base on a single by Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and then scored on a Jones double down the left field line. Rickles hustled all the way home on the play. Jones, who moved up on the throw scored the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Carhart.
Stetson added solo runs in the 6th, 8th and 9th innings on its way to the 10-4 final. Starting pitcher Tucker Donahue (Coral Springs, Fla.) picked up the win and improved to 1-2 on the season. He allowed three runs on six hits and struck out three batters. Cameron Griffin (Naples, Fla.) and Robbie Powell (Punta Gorda, Fla.) finished the game on the mound. Powell tossed the final two innings striking out three.
The Hatters will return to DeLand and have the midweek off before taking on Kennesaw State next weekend. The games are scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Stetson fans can see the games on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets for home games are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.