Spartans Set to Tangle with Gamecocks Tuesday Night
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team will close out its 2012 non-conference slate Tuesday night when they battle No. 2 South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The game will air on Fox Sports South (check local listings) with first pitch slated for 7 p.m.
For those fans planning to make the trip, tickets are $10 per ticket (Standing Room Only and Outfield Bleachers). There may be tickets remaining for the reserved section on the day of the game for $12.
Live stats will be available for Tuesday's contest and fans can join the conversation on Twitter: @UpstateSpartans / #UpstateBSB.
• The 2012 season marks the first season of full NCAA Division I eligibility for the Spartans... After a five-year transitional phase from D-II to D-I, Upstate is eligible for postseason play.
• Head Coach Matt Fincher is in his 15th season at the helm of the Spartan baseball program.
• Both starting pitchers on Tuesday night are set for pre-determined short starts (Upstate - Brandon Lee; South Carolina - Colby Holmes).
• The Spartans clinched the first of six tournament berths for the 2012 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship (May 23-26, DeLand, Fla.) with its one-run victory over Kennesaw State (May 12).
• Upstate, after leading 9-1 after four innings, rallied for a 12-11 victory over Kennesaw State on Senior Night... Senior Austin Liput drove in the game-winning runs with a RBI double to the gap in left center... Jordan Stampler and Gaither Bumgardner scored to complete the comeback... Upstate took an early 6-0 advantage when Trey Richardson belted the first grand slam in more than two calendar years to cap the big first inning... Bumgardner was the last Spartan to record a grand slam (Apr. 3, 2010, vs. Jacksonville).
• Ben Augenstein earned the win in relief against the Owls as the junior tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball to improve to 4-1 on the season... Chad Sobotka closed out the contest as he retired the Owls in order to pick up his 12th save of the season and tie the single-season school record (Bradley Blanks, 2006).
• The Spartans played just two games last week as the team lost both of its midweek games to mother nature (The Citadel, at Davidson) as well as the series finale against Kennesaw State (Sunday).
• Since dropping all three contests at Belmont (Apr. 6-7), the Spartans have won 13 of their last 16 contests... At 33-15, Upstate is just three wins shy of tying the school-record for wins (36, 1987 [NAIA]).
• Gaither Bumgardner's run of 15 consecutive trips on base and 11 straight hits came to a close with a first-inning ground out at Stetson (May 4)... In each category, he fell just three shy of the NCAA record... For the week (May 1-6), Bumgardner batted .667 (16-24, 3 Doubles) with nine runs and eight RBI.
• Upstate overcame a season-high five errors to pick up its 30th win of the season with a 15-3 victory at Georgia State (May 2)... Gaither Bumgardner highlighted the Spartan offense with a 5-for-5 effort to go along with six RBI and two runs... Ben Augenstein earned the win after scattering six hits and three unearned runs in 6.2 innings of work (career-high five strikeouts)... Chris Knauff closed the door on the Panthers, allowing one hit while striking out one... The Spartans also drew a season-best 13 walks in the contest.
• Against Wofford (May 1), the Spartans rallied to tie the contest at six with a three-run ninth, but Wofford responded with the game-winning run in the bottom of the frame... Gaither Bumgardner led the way with five hits (five ABs), three runs and one RBI... Jordan Stampler added three hits and two runs while Austin Liput posted three hits and three RBI against the Terriers.
• The Spartans picked up their third conference series sweep of the season as the club claimed all three victories over Jacksonville (Apr. 20-22).
• Brody Greer finished a triple shy of the cycle (including his first career HR) and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth as the Spartans downed the Dolphins, 3-2 (Apr. 20)... Ben Augenstein earned the win in relief and improved to 2-1 after tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball (0 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts).
• The Spartans scored four unearned runs in the 3rd and registered its lone hit of the game in the 5th en route to a 4-2 win in the middle game of the Jacksonville series.