May 7, 2013

Spartans Set for Four Road Games in Five Days

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

Game Notes | @UPSTBSB

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Following an 11-day break for final exams, the USC Upstate baseball team gets back to work with four road games in a five-day span.

The Spartans are slated to take on Charleston Southern Wednesday, before traveling to the Peach State for a three-game weekend series at Kennesaw State in Atlantic Sun Conference action.

Leading Off

  • Following an 11-day break for final exams, USC Upstate gets back to work with four road games in a five-day span.
  • Coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of No. 23 Mercer, the Spartans are looking to get back on track with a mid-week contest at Charleston Southern, before traveling to Kennesaw State for a three-game weekend series against the Owls.
  • Having lost seven of its last eight conference games, USC Upstate is set to battle Kennesaw State this weekend, a team the Spartans split a rain shortened series against last season. Upstate is 6-8 against KSU since entering the Division I ranks in 2008.
  • Following a weekend series at Kennesaw State, Upstate will travel to Clemson next Wednesday to take on the No. 15 Tigers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, before hosting North Florida to cap the regular season.

Quick Hits

  • The Spartans are in the midst of their third three-game losing streak this season, but are looking to avoid their first four-game skid of the year. 
  • Upstate will be looking to split the season series with Charleston Southern after falling 9-3 to the Bucs earlier this season at Harley Park. CSU scored eight runs in the first four innings and cruised to the win. Chris Cox will get another chance against the Bucs after giving up six runs on 10 hits in just 2.1 innings of work.
  • Currently in sixth place in the A-Sun, Kennesaw State has dropped six of its last seven games, including four consecutive league series. The Owls have not won a conference series since taking two of three from Stetson March 28-30.
  • KSU is one of just two teams without double-digit home runs on the year, sitting second to last with nine and just ahead of Stetson (7).

WHO'S HOT: Luke Weber is swinging one of the hottest bats of his career over the last three weeks, hitting .600 in his current seven-game hitting streak with three home runs and 11 runs batted in. He has recorded six multi-hit games in the last seven contests.

STILL STREAKING: After hitting safely in all three games against Mercer two weekends ago, Brody Greer has extended his hitting streak to 15 games and has the longest hit-streak on the team this season. Currently hitting .324 on the year, Greer has recorded a hit in every contest since April 9, and has added seven multi-hit games during that stretch.

SOBOTKA IN THE RECORD BOOKS: After recording 12 saves a season ago, Chad Sobotka jumped to the top of the record books, tying Bradley Banks for the most saves in a single season in program history. With six more saves during the 2013 season, Sobotka now has 18 for his career and sits just two saves shy of Chris Fowler for the all-time record. His 18 saves are also tied for 13th in the history of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

LEE'S NATIONAL RANKING: Brandon Lee has been one of the most consistent and efficient starting pitchers in the country this season, ranking seventh in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings and seventh in strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has walked just seven batters in 81.2 innings of work and added 64 strikeouts, while opponents are hitting .276 against the right-hander.

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM: Jordan Stampler's 15 hit by pitches this season is eight more than any other player on the team and ranks 32nd in the country. The senior leadoff hitter has a .397 on base percentage with 26 walks and 37 runs scored.

CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDING: With Northern Kentucky ineligible for postseason play, nine teams are battling for eight spots in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship. USC Upstate and Lipscomb are deadlocked at 8-13 for the seventh position, while Jacksonville is on the outside looking in at 7-14. The Spartans hold the tiebreaker on Lipscomb, while Jacksonville holds the tiebreaker on Upstate. The Spartans could put Lipscomb and Jacksonville in the rearview mirror this weekend with a three-game sweep of Kennesaw State and overtake the Owls for the No. 6 seed with just one series remaining. Five of the eight playoff spots are still up for grabs with two conference weekends still on the schedule.

LUKE'S CANON: Luke Weber has turned into a nightmare to run against behind the plate, throwing out 14 of 31 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.

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