Bumgardner’s Superb Streak Comes to an End
DeLAND, Fla. – Looking to accomplish a feat that only one other player in NCAA history had achieved, Gaither Bumgardner's (Fort Lawn, S.C.) first at-bat Friday night at Stetson resulted in a ground out to the pitcher, ending his streak of 11 consecutive hits.
Bumgardner 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).
Bumgardner's streak began nearly two weeks ago during Upstate's 11-run eighth inning that propelled the club to a 12-4 victory and a series sweep of the Jacksonville Dolphins (Apr. 22). Bumgardner was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth to kick-start his streak of 15 consecutive times on base. Later in the inning, the junior delivered a RBI single to short to give the Spartans a 6-4 lead.
After more than a week off from competition due to exams, Bumgardner caught fire with back-to-back 5-for-5 outings at Wofford (May 1) and at Georgia State (May 2).
Against the Terriers, the Spartan center fielder finished with five hits, three runs and one RBI in the Spartans' heartbreaking loss to the Terriers. Bumgardner registered the first of 17 hits for the club in the first inning with a single to right. An inning later, Bumgardner singled thru the left side and later scored to give the Spartans a 3-0 advantage heading to the bottom of the second.
Bumgardner picked up his third hit of the contest when he singled to left on a 1-1 offering in the fourth. In the sixth, Bumgardner battled and fought off three consecutive pitches before drawing a walk. In his fourth plate appearance of the evening, he saw a grand total of nine pitches (Ball, Ball, Swinging Strike, Ball, Strike Looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball). In the eighth, Bumgardner, with a single to right, registered hit number four of the evening.
Bumgardner tallied hit number five of the evening when he drove in a run with a RBI single through the left side. Bumgardner later scored on an Eric Eck wild pitch to tie the contest at six before the club ultimately fell, 7-6.
For the second consecutive night, Bumgardner registered five hits while finishing with six RBI and two runs scored in the team's 15-3 rout of Georgia State. He reached base in his first plate appearance after being hit by a pitch in the first. Bumgardner led off the third with a single to right and later delivered a RBI singled through the left side Upstate plated five runs in the frame to regain the lead, one it never relinquished.
Bumgardner registered a RBI single through right side (fifth inning), before connecting on a bases clearing double down the left field line (sixth inning). In the eighth, he walked on four pitches and in his final at-bat of the evening (ninth inning), he recorded RBI number six of the night with a single to right field.
Earlier this season, Bumgardner's 21-game hit streak (dating back to the 2011 campaign) came to a close with a 0-for-2 day at the plate against Albany (Mar. 3). Bumgardner was just the fourth player in program history to record a 20-game hit streak (Chris Nowak, 27, 2002; Phillip Morgan, 25, 2009; Jason Westbrook, 20, 1994).
Bumgardner's game-by-game summary (Since Apr. 22):
vs. Jacksonville (Apr. 22)
First Inning: Double
Fifth: Fouled out to first base
Eighth: Hit by pitch
at Wofford (May 1)
at Georgia State (May 2)
First: Hit by pitch
at Stetson (May 4)