Spartans Host Valparaiso in Weekend Series at Harley Park

March 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm

The USC Upstate baseball teams concludes its 13-game homestand this weekend when the Spartans welcome Valparaiso to Harley Park for a three-game series beginning Friday at 4 p.m.

Game two is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. and game three will follow Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sophomore right-hander Brian Boocock (2-1, 3.78) is slated to be on the mound in game one and will face southpaw Dalton Lundeen (0-1, 2.19). Boocock is coming off a career-high nine strikeouts in his last appearance Feb. 28 against Saint Joseph’s. The Estero, Fla., native allowed just five hits on one run in seven innings of work en route to his second win of the season.

Junior righty Tyler Jackson (0-0, 4.50) will matchup with right-hander Ryan Fritze (0-1, 7.36) in game two. Jackson has allowed no more than three earned runs in any of his three previous starts and is coming off a four-strikeout performance against Saint Joseph’s.

Freshman Blake Whitney (1-1, 2.84) earned his first career victory and struck out a career-high 10 hitters in his last outing against Saint Joseph’s. Whitney allowed no runs and two hits in six innings on the hill and was named the Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

On offense, sophomore first baseman Zach Krider went 2-for-3 with two runs scored Wednesday against Winthrop and enters the weekend fourth in the A-Sun with a .417 batting average. The Longwood, Fla., native is also tied for third in the league with two home runs and is second on the team with nine RBIs.

Valparaiso snapped its six-game losing streak by sweeping a two-game series earlier this week at Western Carolina. The Crusaders were swept in three-game series by San Diego State and Gardner-Webb to open the year.

Sophomore infielder Nate Palace leads the lead with a .406 batting average and seven doubles. Junior outfielder Dustin Beasley paces the Crusaders with 13 RBIs and is third on the team in hitting with a .313 batting average.