SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After batting .667 over the course of five games last week, USC Upstate junior Gaither Bumgardner (Fort Lawn, S.C.) has been named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week, the conference office in Macon, Ga., announced today.
Bumgardner opened the week with back-to-back 5-for-5 efforts at Wofford (May 1) and at Georgia State (May 2). Against the Terriers, Bumgardner totaled three runs and one RBI, before recording six RBI and two runs in the 15-3 victory over the Panthers.
Bumgardner was riding a pair of lengthy streaks (11 straight hits, 15 consecutive times on-base) until he grounded out in the first inning at Stetson Friday night. He was chasing a 35-year old record set by Gonzaga's Larry Patterson during the 1977 campaign. Patterson recorded a NCAA record 14 consecutive hits during the '77 season.
The junior's streak of 15 consecutive times on base also came to an end with the first inning ground out. Bumgardner fell three shy of tying Shaun Larkin's record of 18 consecutive times on base. Larkin (Cal. St. Northridge) reached base safely 18 times over a span of four games (Feb. 8-12, 2002).
After going 0-for-4 in the opener against Stetson, Bumgardner responded with a 6-for-10 effort over the next two games as the Spartans won their third straight A-Sun series.
For the week, Bumgardner batted a blistering .667 (16-24, 3 doubles) with nine runs and eight RBI. He also earned five free passes (3 HBP, 2BB), swiped two bags (two attempts), while finishing with a .724 on-base percentage. The junior, who posted a .792 slugging percentage, was perfect in the field.