The USC Upstate baseball team plays its first home conference series of the season when the Spartans welcome Stetson to Harley Park Friday at 6 p.m. to begin a three-game series. Game two is schedule for Saturday at 2 p.m. and will be followed by game three Sunday at 1 p.m.
Spartan sophomore right-hander Brian Boocock (3-5, 5.49) will draw the pitching assignment in game one and matchup against Stetson right-hander Mitchell Jordan (1-1, 4.38). Right-handers Blake Whitney (2-1, 4.86) and Brooks Wilson (7-2, 3.16) are expected to pitch in game two, and righties Zac Manuppelli (1-2, 6.89) and Walker Sheller (2-4, 5.52) will oppose each other Sunday in the finale.
Upstate enters the weekend coming off a 7-2 victory Wednesday at Gardner-Webb in which senior right-hander Dylan Parker earned his second win of the season after lasting a season-high six innings. Parker struck out five, scattered seven hits and allowed only one earned run.
Shortstop Daniel Fickas had three hits and scored two runs and ranks second on the team with a .331 batting average. The Lake Mary, Fla., native is tied for fifth in the Atlantic Sun with 46 hits and tied for fourth in the league with 30 runs scored.
Senior Erik Samples smacked a double off the centerfield wall Wednesday and is second in the conference with 13 doubles. Samples is also tied for 17th all-time at Upstate with 30 career two-baggers.
Freshman Charlie Carpenter leads Upstate and is tied for eighth in the A-Sun with 29 RBIs, while Cody Brittain paces the Spartans and is tied for 10th in the conference with three home runs.
Stetson saw its four-game winning streak snapped Tuesday when the Hatters lost 22-2 at No. 10 Florida to fall to 18-16 overall. Stetson, however, sits atop the conference standings with a perfect 3-0 mark in league play after the Hatters swept Kennesaw State last weekend.
Sophomore Vance Vizcaino leads the Hatters and ranks eighth in the league with a .351 batting average to go along with 27 RBIs. Vizcaino is the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week after he hit. 600 last week in leading Stetson to a 4-0 record.