Baseball Preview: UNC Asheville

Baseball Preview: UNC Asheville

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team will make just their second road trip of the season with a trip to UNC Asheville this weekend.

USC Upstate (8-9) is looking to make a splash in their first ever Big South Conference series against UNC Asheville this weekend. Coming into the weekend series the Spartans have split a pair of midweek games against Davidson and Furman. The Spartans have gotten off to a pretty hot start to the season and currently rank third overall in the Big South standings.

Jason Matthews has been a large part of the Spartans success over the past several games. The junior is currently batting a team high .321 on the season and has a team 17 hits. The New Zealand native is on a six game hitting streak and has already had five multi-hit games on the season. Andres Kim is second on the team in batting average (.292) and leads the team in RBI's with 10 on the season.

Robby McGaha currently leads the team in extra base hits with 7 and he is tied with Julian Rip and Austin Morgan for the team lead in homeruns. Jack Hennessy has also had a great start to his rookie season for the Spartans. The Palmetto State native currently leads the team in stolen bases with three on the year.

Jordan Marks, Trey Van Der Weide and Jacob Thiessen will once again be the weekend starters for the Spartans. The trio has combined to strikeout 41 batters this season in 56 innings of work. Coming out of the Bullpen for USC Upstate this weekend will be Grant Hoppock who has a team low 0.96 era and Big South Reliever of the Week Will Wheeler who picked up two saves this past week. Wheeler leads the team in strikeouts with 28 and opponent batting average with .179. Other pitchers that fans can see this weekend will be Ben Ferrer, Sean Hupp and Caleb Matthews.

UNC Asheville (5-11) will be looking to get back on the winning track back on home soil. The Bulldogs are riding a three game losing streak at the moment with a pair of loses to Tennessee and a 14-0 loss to Georgia Southern. The last time UNC Asheville played at home they lost to Western Carolina 16-4, the Spartans have won their only road game of the year.

Greg Gasparro and Danny Wilson lead a Bulldogs offense that does not have much bark to it. Gasparro is batting a team high .436, while Wilson is second on the team with a .400 batting average. No one else on the team is batting above .300 on the season. Brandon Lankford has emerged as the Bulldogs lone power hitter with 7 homeruns and 14 RBI's.

Gasparro will also start one of the three games this weekend, along with fellow weekend starters Blake Brown and Jordan Carr. Jacob Edwards, Austin Fahr, Kole Harris and Eric Whitecavage will all make appearances out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs this weekend.

All three games will be shown on ESPN+ and live stats can be found on either UNC Asheville's website or USC Upstate's.


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