May 14, 2013

Spartans to Battle Clemson and Ospreys in Final Week

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

Game Notes | @UPSTBSB

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Entering the final week of the regular season, the USC Upstate baseball team is set for a mid-week contest at No. 14 Clemson and a crucial home series with North Florida.

The Spartans will travel to Clemson Tuesday evening for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch, and will host North Florida Thursday-Saturday at Harley Park. First pitch against the Ospreys is slated for 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tuesday's contest at Clemson can be heard live on ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM / 1400 AM, while all three games against North Florida will be covered with a full ASun.TV production.

Leading Off

  • Entering the final week of the regular season, the Spartans are set for a mid-week contest at No. 14 Clemson and a crucial home series with North Florida.
  • Coming off three straight losses at Kennesaw State over the weekend, Upstate is suddenly locked in a tie with Jacksonville for the eighth and final spot in the upcoming Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.
  • After starting the season winning eight of their first 10 games, the Spartans have fallen on hard times as of late, dropping 10 of their last 11 conference contests, including back-to-back series sweeps.
  • Despite struggling over the last month, Upstate has managed to win three of their last four mid-week games and will look to keep that trend in tact Tuesday against a Clemson squad that has won seven straight.

Quick Hits

  • The Spartans are currently two full games behind Lipscomb in the A-Sun standings and deadlocked with Jacksonville for the eighth spot in the A-Sun Championship. Due to JU's series win over Upstate, the Spartans will need to finish a half game in front of the Dolphins to clinch their second straight tournament appearance. JU will end the season on the road at ETSU.
  • After opening up a commanding lead in the A-Sun standings midway through the season, North Florida has dropped each of its last two A-Sun series and relinquished the top spot in the league to Mercer. The Ospreys are currently tied with FGCU at No. 2 in the conference.
  • Clemson has been on a tear since April 1, winning 21 of 25 games and vaulting to No. 14 in the country. The Tigers rank in the top 25 in the country in earned run average and sport a 25-9 record at home in 2013.

STILL STREAKING: After hitting safely in all four games last weekend, Brody Greer has extended his hitting streak to 19 games. As one of only three players on the team to play and start in all 50 games this season, Greer has seen his hit-streak last 34 days and span 77 at bats. He is hitting .351 during the stretch, including four doubles and 10 runs batted in.

SOBOTKA IN THE RECORD BOOKS: After recording 12 saves a season ago, Chad Sobotka jumped to the top of the record books, tying Bradley Banks for the most saves in a single season in program history. With seven more saves during the 2013 season, Sobotka now has 19 for his career and sits just one save shy of Chris Fowler for the all-time record. His 19 saves are also tied for 11th in the history of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

LEE'S NATIONAL RANKING: Brandon Lee has been one of the most consistent and efficient starting pitchers in the country this season, ranking eighth in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings and fifth in strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has walked just eight batters in 88.2 innings of work and added 69 strikeouts, while opponents are hitting .283 against the right-hander.

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM: Jordan Stampler's 15 hit by pitches this season is seven more than any other player on the team and ranks 42nd in the country. The senior leadoff hitter has a .398 on base percentage with 27 walks and 39 runs scored.

CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDING: With Northern Kentucky ineligible for postseason play, nine teams are battling for eight spots in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship. With Lipscomb taking two of three from Jacksonville last weekend, the Bisons have opened up a two-game game lead for the No. 7 seed, while Upstate and Jacksonville are left to battle for the final spot. The Dolphins and Spartans have identical 1-10 records in their last 11 A-Sun games and JU holds a tiebreaker on Upstate. The drama is set to unfold in Johnson City, Tenn., and Spartanburg S.C., as playoff hopes are on the line this weekend.

SENIOR WEEKEND: The Spartans will honor their graduating seniors Friday evening before game two of the series, as 10 individuals play in the final regular season games of their careers. With some of the biggest contributors on the team set to cap their collegiate careers, Upstate will have big roles to fill next season.

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