April 8, 2013

Wildcats and Buccaneers Come Calling in Mid-Week Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall,
 dbeall@uscupstate.edu

Game Notes | @UPSTBSB

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After winning its second straight conference series last weekend, the USC Upstate baseball team goes right back to work with a pair of mid-week games against Davidson and Charleston Southern.

The Spartans will take on Davidson Tuesday and Charleston Southern Wednesday with both games slated to start at 6 p.m. at Harley Park. Tuesday's contest will be broadcasted live on ASun.TV, while both games can be followed through live in-game statistics on the PrestoSports Primetime Network.

Leading Off

  • After winning its second straight conference series last weekend, the USC Upstate baseball team goes right back to work with a pair of mid-week games against Davidson and Charleston Southern.
  • Following a stretch that saw Upstate drop eight of 11 games, the Spartans have regrouped and won six of their last seven contests, including a season-long five-game winning streak.
  • Upstate took both ends of a weekend series at Lipscomb, winning the opener 5-3 and the finale 4-0, while dropping Saturday's game 6-4 in walk-off fashion. 
  • In his 16th year at the helm of the Spartans, head coach Matt Fincher has 364 victories.
  • The Spartans will send Ben Augenstein (1-2) to the hill Tuesday against Davidson and Chris Cox (2-2) to the mound Wednesday against Charleston Southern.

Quick Hits

  • After opening the season with five consecutive road losses, Upstate has won four of five games away from home, including a series victory at Lipscomb over the weekend.
  • The Spartans currently have four hitters over the .300 mark on the season, with Brandon Patterson leading the way at .396 to rank second in the league. Daniel Seeba is on the brink at .298, while Brody Greer is just five points shy at .295.
  • Upstate ranks fourth in the league in team batting average at .295 on the year, sitting a single point behind FGCU and three points shy of Mercer and ETSU. North Florida leads the league at .325. 
  • The Spartans have the fewest strikeouts in the league at 147, just ahead of FGCU with 152 and ETSU with 158. The Mercer offense has the most strikeouts in the A-Sun at 265, but also sport the best power numbers with 118 extra base hits, including a conference leading 75 doubles and 36 home runs.
  • Davidson enters the week having lost 12 of its last 13 games with its only win coming last Friday against UNC Wilmington. The Wildcats are also winless on the road at 0-13.
  • Charleston Southern swept a three-game series against UNC Asheville two weeks ago, but was the victim of a sweep last weekend at Gardner-Webb. The Bucs are 0-14 on the road.

WHO'S HOT: Gaither Bumgardner has officially turned around his early-season struggles after hitting .435 in five games last week. He currently has the longest hitting streak on the team at five games, and his 10 multi-hit games rank third on the team. Bumgardner has also been stellar on the mound as of late, posting a 4-0 mark in his last four appearances, including 8.0 shutout innings at Lipscomb in the series finale Sunday. He allowed just two hits and added five strikeouts on the mound, while reaching base in all five plate appearances.

LESCH'S LIMELIGHT: Tyler Lesch stole the spotlight March 30 in the series finale with Northern Kentucky, making a pair of highlight web gems in centerfield. His second-inning diving catch made an appearance on SportsCenter's Top Plays at No. 5. Lesch becomes the second athlete at USC Upstate to appear on Top Plays after Ty Greene was featured last season with a buzzer-beater three-pointer at Lipscomb.

SHUTDOWN SOBOTKA: Chad Sobotka has literally been unhittable in his last four appearances, tossing 5.2 innings and not allowing a hit, while recording eight strikeouts. He has thrown 9.0 innings in eight appearances since giving up a run, while his five saves are tied for the league lead.

COX DELIVERS: Chris Cox was nearly unhittable last Wednesday against Charlotte as the senior tossed a complete-game four-hit shutout to send Upstate to a 6-0 victory over the 49ers. Cox stranded runners on third base in the second and ninth innings and used his 100th pitch of the game to record the final out of the contest. The complete-game shutout was the second on the team this season after Brandon Lee tossed a gem against Marshall on March 1, recording seven strikeouts and going the distance for his third win of the year. Cox will get the call again this Wednesday looking to pick up his second straight victory.

LUKE'S CANON: Luke Weber has turned into a nightmare to run against behind the plate, throwing out 10 of 22 base stealers this season. On March 1 against Dayton, Weber had it all working and Flyers weren't flying very far, getting gunned down in all three base stealing attempts on the day as Upstate rallied for a 4-3 victory.

LESCH'S LIFT: Tyler Lesch has soared to the second-best batting average on the team at .307 after hitting .333 last week with seven hits and six runs batted in. His .403 on base percentage is tied for second on the team, while his 27 runs scored are tops on the club. He has a team-high 19 walks on the year and his 10 doubles are tied for the best mark on the squad.

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