April 17, 2015123456789RHE
Lipscomb11011231111141
USC Upstate100000000176
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: MARTINEZ-MCGRAW (5-2) 8.071124
Loss: MILLER (1-1) 1.132220
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
MASSEY (LIP) 623301
HANKS (LIP) 513110
FICKAS (UPST) 412000
April 18, 2015123456789RHE
Lipscomb000003000340
USC Upstate000000000052
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: PASSANTINO (1-0) 7.140009
Loss: WHITNEY (3-2) 9.043134
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
GIGLIOTTI (LIP) 412000
FICKAS (UPST) 401000
KRIDER (UPST) 401000
CARPENTER (UPST) 301000
BEAVER (UPST) 301000
FOWLKES (UPST) 401000
April 18, 2015123456789RHE
Lipscomb0010232109143
USC Upstate010000052870
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: PUCKETT (4-1) 7.034423
Loss: MANUPPELLI (1-3) 5.063334
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
MASSEY (LIP) 403200
CARPENTER (UPST) 412100
Key road series awaits baseball at USC Upstate
Thursday, April 16, 2015
By Kirk Downs
Key road series awaits baseball at USC Upstate

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Lipscomb baseball team hits the road this weekend as it travels to take on USC Upstate in a key three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series at Harley Park. The series opener is Friday at 5 p.m. CT.

The Bisons (21-13, 2-4 A-Sun) have dropped 2-of-3 in both of their conference series this season. Lipscomb’s pitching staff has been strength for most of the season, but it has not been as consistent against league opponents. In Lipscomb’s non-conference games this season the team carries a 3.68 ERA. That number jumps to 6.40 ERA in the A-Sun.

Offensively Lipscomb is led by the top of its lineup. Its top three hitters are all batting over .345. Jonathan Allison leads the bunch at .368. Grant Massey is just behind with a .365 clip while leadoff Michael Gigliotti is hitting .346.

That dynamic trio has combined 80 runs scored, 19 doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 75 RBI, 44 walks and 31 stolen bases.

The Bisons will see a new starter in the Sunday pitching slot. Freshman Brady Puckett has started four games this season, but the 6-foot-8 hurler will get his first weekend start of the year.

 

Scouting Upstate:

Although the Spartans (13-24, 4-5 A-Sun) enter the weekend fresh off a 20-6 loss to Furman on Tuesday, they have been playing good ball of late. Last weekend Stetson entered Harley Park undefeated in conference play and Upstate took 2-of-3 from the Hatters.

The Spartans have just two hitters batting over .300, Daniel Fickas (.340) and Erik Samples (.315). Upstate is not a power hitting team, just 13 home runs all year. They have 60 doubles, eight triples and 141 walks as a team.

Upstate’s pitching staff has been a weakness this season with a 6.52 team ERA, the highest in the A-Sun. It has also given up the most hits in the league (435).

 

Weather at Game Time:

April 17th – 73 degrees – Cloudy (20%) Winds WSW 4MPH

April 18th – 78 degrees – Party Cloudy (10%) Winds ENE 5 MPH

April 19th – 68 degrees – Rain (100%) Winds SE 10 MPH 

Check with LipscombSports.com or follow @BisonBaseball on twitter for updates on the team or any time changes with the game.   

 

Probable Starters:

Friday
Lipscomb – Ian Martinez-McGraw – RHP (4-2, 2.33 ERA, 54.0 IP, 21 R, 14 ER, 36 K, 19 BB) 
USC Upstate – Jordan Miller– RHP (1-0, 2.55 ERA, 17.2 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 11 K, 7 BB) 

Saturday
Lipscomb – Jeffrey Passantino – RHP (0-0, 4.38 ERA, 24.2 IP, 12 R, 12 ER, 32 K, 10 BB) 
USC Upstate – Blake Whitney – RHP (3-1, 4.40 ERA, 43.0 IP, 24 R, 21 ER, 32 K, 21 BB) 

Sunday
Lipscomb – Brady Puckett – RHP (2-1, 6.00 ERA, 33.0 IP, 22 R, 22 ER, 25 K, 15 BB) 
USC Upstate – Zac Manuppelli – RHP (1-2, 5.79 ERA, 37.1 IP, 29 R, 24 ER, 28 K, 20 BB) 

 

Quick Hits:

  • The Bisons head into Friday night’s contest tied in the all-time series 9-9 with the Spartans. Although Lipscomb took 2-of-3 from Upstate last season at Harley Park, the Spartans hold a 6-3 advantage over Lipscomb on its home turf.
  • Big innings have been a large part of the success for the team in 2015 so far. Three times this season the Bisons have posted seven or more runs in a frame.  Lipscomb has also scored four or more runs in an inning 10 times so far.
  • On the mound, Lipscomb leads the league in saves (10), hits allowed (292), runs allowed (165) and earned runs allowed (138),
  • A number of players rank among the league leaders including Allison who is fourth in on-base percentage (.459), fifth in batting average (.368) and slugging percentage (.560). His 21 walks are sixth, 33 RBIs are seventh and 70 total bases are eighth. Massey ranks sixth in the A-Sun in batting average (.365) and on-base percentage 12 stolen bases are fifth most. Gigliotti and redshirt freshman Allan Hooker are tied for fourth with three triples each. Gigliotti’s .346 batting average is ninth while Hooker’s .516 slugging percentage is also ninth.
  • Lipscomb ranks 19th nationally in fielding percentage - .978.
  • Lipscomb’s 13 triples are tied for 28th in the nation coming into the week along with 12 other teams.
  • Friday starter Ian Martinez-McGraw is third in the A-Sun with a 2.33 ERA, while he ranks sixth in opposing batting average (.254) and innings pitched (54.0). His nine starts are tied for 20th most in Division I.
  • Martinez-McGraw is tied with junior Kyle Weller in the league with four wins.
  • Hunter Hanks is tied for 24th across the country with five sacrifice flies.
  • Catcher Jeffrey Crisan is tied with Upstate’s Jordan Miller having thrown out a league-leading nine attempted base stealers.
  • Second baseman Mike Korte (24) is sixth in the A-Sun in double plays turned while Massey (21) is 10th.
  • Gigliotti leads the team with 12 bunt singles this season. As a team Lipscomb’s 17 ranks eighth in the country.

 

Up Next:

The Bisons will close out the three-game series in Spartanburg with a 1 p.m. start time on Saturday followed by a noon first pitch Sunday. After the weekend set, Lipscomb will travel to Austin Peay Tuesday 21st for a 6 p.m.  nonconference tilt.