The USC Upstate baseball team gets its first taste of conference play when the Spartans travel to Kennesaw, Ga., to face Kennesaw State Friday at 6 p.m. to open a three-game series from Stillwell Stadium. Game two follows Saturday at 2 p.m. and game three begins Sunday at 1 p.m.
Upstate sophomore right-hander Brian Boocock (3-3, 4.31) is scheduled to matchup with Kennesaw State junior right-hander Jordan Hillyer (2-2, 2.34) in game one. Game two pits Spartans right-hander Blake Whitney (1-1, 5.00) against southpaw Travis Bergen (3-2, 2.95), while sophomore righty Zac Manuppelli draws the start Sunday in game three. Kennesaw State has yet to announce its game three starting pitcher.
Spartan senior second baseman Erik Samples enters the weekend with a .300 batting average and has hit safely in his last seven games. The Hampton, S.C., native is also tied for third in the league with 10 doubles and is only one shy of moving into a tie for 20th place all-time at Upstate.
Freshman Charlie Carpenter registered three hits Wednesday at Winthrop and upped his batting average to .290. Carpenter has also driven in a team-high 24 runs and has put together eight multi-RBI games.
Kennesaw State dropped both its midweek games and opens league play with a 12-12 overall record. The Owls fell 8-4 Tuesday to Georgia Southern before losing 9-5 Wednesday at Georgia.
Freshman Taylor Allum leads Kennesaw State with a .345 batting average and is one of five Owls hitting over .300. Junior infielder Kal Simmons paces Kennesaw State with 20 RBIs and leads the A-Sun with seven home runs.
USC Upstate and Kennesaw State will be meeting on the diamond for the 57th time when the two schools square off on Friday.
Spartan head coach Matt Fincher also enters the weekend two wins shy of 400 for his coaching career.