Upstate Baseball Travels to Mercer for Final Three Regular-Season Contests
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – With the number one seed at next week's Atlantic Sun Conference tournament in it its sights, the USC Upstate baseball team travels to Macon, Ga., to close out the 2012 regular-season contests at Mercer.
With one victory in Macon and a loss by Stetson (to Florida Gulf Coast), the Spartans will lock up the number one seed at next week's A-Sun Championship (May 23-26; DeLand, Fla.).
Live audio and live stats will be available for all three contests 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.
• Upstate's magic number for the weekend sits at two... The team can clinch the number one seed at the 2012 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship (May 23-26, DeLand, Fla.) with a win Thursday at Mercer and a Stetson loss (to Florida Gulf Coast)... Entering the final weekend, Upstate is the only club in the A-Sun to have secured a berth in the six-team field.
• The Spartans lost its fourth game in a week due to weather as rain/lightning ended the club's chances at knocking off No. 1 South Carolina... Upstate lead 3-0 after the top of the second before the rain/lightning set in... After more than 2.5 hours of waiting, the contest was finally cancelled.
• Upstate, after leading 9-1 after four innings, rallied for a 12-11 victory over Kennesaw State (May 12) 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).
• 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.