Baseball to Host Nationally-Ranked Stetson this Weekend
SPARTANBURG, S.C – The USC Upstate baseball team is set for a three-game Atlantic Sun set with No. 20 Stetson beginning on Friday night at Harley Park, with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m. The two teams will close out the series with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m.
The Spartans played just one game during the mid-week, a 15-11 loss to cross-town rival Wofford at Harley Park. Upstate's game on Wednesday night against Charlotte was rained out, marking the third time this season the Spartans have been washed out.
• Over the Spartans last eight games, they have alternated wins and losses, most recently falling to Wofford on Tuesday night.
• Against Wofford (Mar. 29), rookie Anthony Vacca finished 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBI and two walks... Austin Liput collected three hits and also scored three runs against the Terriers... Luke Weber and Tyler Cook had two hits each against Wofford.
• Blake Green led the Spartan attack at FGCU (Mar. 25-26) as he finished with a .615 batting average (8-for-13) while scoring five runs and driving in three. He also earned a trio of free passes via two walks and a hit by pitch.
• Upstate picked up wins in the series opener and finale to claim a 2-1 series victory over FGCU over the weekend... Upstate claimed game one, 12-5, dropped the middle game, 2-12, before claiming the finale, 12-8.
• Upstate split a home and home series with Furman (Mar. 22-23)... Upstate claimed a 8-5 victory at Harley Park on Tuesday thanks to a six-run sixth inning... Furman evened the season series with a 4-0 win in Greenville, S.C., as they two teams combined for just eight hits in a game that took just 1:58.
• Against Furman, sophomore Chris Knauff recorded the longest outing of his career as he pitched four complete innings allowing just one hit while fanning three en route to his second victory of the season.
• Gaither Bumgardner became the first Spartan since Matt Branham (Mar. 17, 2007) to toss a complete game shutout... Bumgardner fanned a career-best nine batters en route to his first career victory on Saturday afternoon vs. North Florida.
• Blake Green owns a batting average of .458 in the month of March and has scored 23 runs while driving in 11... He was 6-for-8 with three runs and two RBI in the doubleheader vs. North Florida (Mar. 19).
• Austin Liput led the Spartans against Charleston Southern on Mar. 16... Against the Bucs, the junior had four hits including his first homer of the season... He finished with three RBI and scored twice... Dillon Way also had a solid day against CSU as he had three hits and four RBI, including a bases clearing double in the first.
The Scouting Report – No. 20 Stetson
Stetson enters the weekend on a two-game skid with losses to ETSU (L, 6-14, Mar. 27) and at No. 23 Central Florida (L, 2-8, Mar. 29)... Prior to the current skid, the Hatters rattled off eight consecutive wins including a series sweep of preseason favorite Mercer (Mar. 18-20) and a win on the road at No. 4 Florida State (W, 6-4, 11 inn., Mar. 23)... Stetson is led offensively by Robert Crews and Nick Rickles... Crews leads the team in batting average (.381), hits (37) and runs (25), while Rickles leads the squad in RBI (27), doubles (10) and is tied for the team lead with two triples... Friday starter Lindsey Caughel is 4-0 on the season (5 starts) and owns a 2.90 ERA and in 31 innings of work... Saturday's game one starter, Kurt Schluter is 4-0 (6 starts) with a 1.83 ERA and a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 34.1 innings on the hill... Tucker Donahue is slated to get the start in the finale... Donahue is 0-2 on the season (13 app/3 starts) with a 4.91 ERA and has walked a team-high 12 batters in 29.1 innings.