February 19, 2013

Spartans Set to Host Presbyterian and George Washington

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

GAME NOTES | LIVE STATS | ASUN.TV

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team returns to action with four games this week, welcoming Presbyterian to town for mid-week action and battling George Washington over the weekend.

The Spartans are set to take on Presbyterian Wednesday at 4 p.m. and George Washington Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Friday's game will be broadcasted on ASun.TV and all four games can be followed by through live in-game statistics on the PrestoSports Primetime Network.

Leading Off

  • The Spartans opened the year with a record-breaking victory last weekend, scoring a Division I record 23 runs against Niagara and cruising to a season-opening victory.
  • Upstate was on the verge of pulling the biggest upset on program history Monday afternoon, leading No. 8 Kentucky 10-6 after seven innings, but the Wildcats made a late surge and picked up the 11-10 victory.
  • The Spartans have defeated one ranked team since moving to the Division I level, knocking off No. 20 Stetson on April 1, 2011.
  • Head coach Matt Fincher is in his 16th season at the helm of the Spartans, sporting 346 victories.
  • The Spartans are in the midst of a season-long seven-game homestand, but will play their first road games of the year next week at Davidson and Furman.

Quick Hits

  • The Spartans are hitting .412 as a team, currently the highest average in the A-Sun.
  • Upstate was the only team in the league to not attempt a stolen base opening weekend, but the Spartans' 33 runs scored is the most in the conference.
  • Presbyterian struggled during its opening series of the year, dropping three of four on the road at Savannah State.  Brandon Paul leads the club with a .467 batting, while his three RBI are tied for the team lead.
  • George Washington is still in search of its first victory of the season after dropping a pair of games at Davidson last weekend. The Colonials dropped the opener 7-5 and then fell 6-5 in a snow-shortened contest. Tyler McCarthy leads the team offensively with a .571 batting average and two RBI, while Luke Staub paces the pitching staff after recording five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work in his debut performance.

WHO'S HOT: Trey Richardson is as hot as you can be, hitting .625 over the first two games of the season with two doubles, two home runs and 10 runs batted in. He opened the year with a career day at the plate, recording two doubles, a home run, two walks and driving in eight runs. He then dominated No. 8 Kentucky with two more hits, including a two-run blast in the sixth inning to give Upstate a 10-6 lead. Richardson leads the A-Sun in runs batted in and is tied for second with two home runs.

PITCHING PERFECTION: Brandon Lee was nearly flawless in his 2013 debut on the mound, tossing 6.0 innings and striking out seven. After giving up a pair of runs in the second inning, Lee settled in and retired nine of the next 11 batters he faced. Chad Sobotka was equally as dominate in his appearance against Kentucky, notching six strikeouts in the first eight outs he recorded. As a staff, Upstate has 26 strikeouts in 18.0 innings of work.

FINCHER-ISMS: Niagara Postgame - "There is a reason you play 56 games instead of just one, but it's nice to get off to a good start. Historically we have started pretty fast so hopefully we can continue that this year."

Kentucky Postgame - "Littrell is a really good pitcher and I thought our hitters did an excellent job against him. We stayed in the zone for the most part and put the barrel on the ball from to time and got him out of the game probably a little bit earlier than he would have liked, so I was real pleased."

THE MADNESS CONTINUES: After receiving all the preseason hype, Gaither Bumgardner backed it up opening weekend with a .600 batting average to earn A-Sun Player of the Week honors by College Sports Madness. The defending A-Sun Player of the Year made a statement in his first game of the 2013 season, going 5-for-5 against Niagara with three runs batted in and five runs scored. The perfect afternoon marked the second 5-for-5 performance in Bumgardner's career after connecting on five hits in as many trips last season at Georgia State.

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