The USC Upstate baseball team returns to the diamond Tuesday at 6 p.m. when the Spartans host in-state rival Furman from Harley Park before traveling to Gardner-Webb Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Upstate enters the week after taking one of three games over the weekend at Florida Gulf Coast. Spartan senior infielder Erik Samples hit .500 during the series with the Eagles and capped the weekend with a career-high four hits Saturday in the finale. The Hampton, S.C., native begins the week second on the team with a .326 batting average while leading the team in runs scored (28) and doubles (12).
Daniel Fickas hit .385 at Florida Gulf Coast and ranks third on the team with a .321 batting average to go along with a team-high 43 hits. Fickas has also stolen a team-best five bases. Freshman Charlie Carpenter leads Upstate with 29 RBIs and has featured nine games with at least two RBIs.
Furman lost it series over the weekend to VMI and has lost eight of its last 10 games. The Paladins play a rare Monday game against Winthrop before arriving in Spartanburg for tomorrow’s clash with the Spartans.
Infielder Blake Chisolm leads Furman with a .379 batting average and 10 doubles, while third baseman Chris Ohmstede is tops on the club with 29 RBIs and is second with seven home runs. Jordan Simpson has already hit eight home runs for the Paladins.
Furman leads the all-time series with Upstate 8-6 after defeating the Spartans earlier this season at the First Pitch Invitational from Fluor Field.
Gardner-Webb (17-15) has lost five of its last six games after getting swept at home over the weekend by Radford. First baseman Sam Fulginiti leads the Bulldogs on offense with a .330 batting average and 19 RBIs.
Gardner-Webb leads Upstate 21-19 in the all-time series after the schools split the two meetings last season.