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Contact: David Beall, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After receiving all the preseason hype, Gaither Bumgardner backed it up opening weekend with a .600 batting average to earn A-Sun Player of the Week honors by College Sports Madness.
The defending A-Sun Player of the Year made a statement in his first game of the 2013 season, going 5-for-5 against Niagara with three runs batted in and five runs scored. The perfect afternoon marked the second 5-for-5 performance in Bumgardner's career after connecting on five hits in as many trips last season at Georgia State.
The senior then came back against No. 8 Kentucky and lined a single down the left field to plate a run and help fuel a five-run fourth inning to give the Spartans a 7-6 lead over the Wildcats. Kentucky's eighth-inning rally spoiled Upstate's chance at the upset, falling 11-10 to the highly touted UK squad.
Bumgardner also played a perfect centerfield all weekend, recording seven putout in as many chances.
The Spartans will have a quick turnaround, welcoming Presbyterian to town Wednesday afternoon, one of seven straight home games to open the season. First pitch against the Blue Hose is slated for 4 p.m. at Harley Park.
Gaither Bumgardner Game-by-Game Statistics