March 31, 2017123456789RHE
USC Upstate0200000114113
Win: PUCKETT (4-2) 6.072213
Loss: BOOCOCK (1-3) 0.234410
SOLOMON (LIP) 533210
BETHUNE (LIP) 613200
April 01, 2017123456789RHE
USC Upstate001002000362
Win: NORMAN (3-2) 1.100010
Loss: BIRKLUND (0-1) 2.112132
PERRY (LIP) 512100
HARRIS (UPST) 212010
April 02, 2017123456789RHE
USC Upstate91041100X16172
Win: WHITNEY (4-2) 5.166644
Loss: TRIPP (2-2) 0.167510
DODSON (LIP) 413110
Baseball set to open ASUN play at USC Upstate
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Baseball set to open ASUN play at USC Upstate

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - ASUN Conference play is finally here for the Lipscomb baseball team this weekend as the Bisons travel to the Palmetto State on Friday to begin a three-game series against host USC Upstate at 5 p.m. at Harley Park.

All three games are slated to air on ESPN3 as the Bisons make their road debut on the platform. Saturday’s contest is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch followed by a noon start on Sunday.

Live stats will also be available for all three games.

Scouting USC Upstate:

The Spartans open the weekend 13-15 overall after having dropped four of their last five contests. After getting swept by Rutgers last weekend, Upstate split a pair of midweeks with a 10-4 win over Charleston Southern and a 10-5 loss to Gardner Webb.

Offensively Upstate leads the ASUN with 293 base hits, 52 doubles and 13 triples, while ranking third in batting average at .290. 

Junior infielder Charlie Carpenter leads the club with a .340 average, 36 hits and is tied for the team-high with 22 RBI. His 23 runs are second best on the squad. His five home runs are tied for the second most in the conference.

The 2016 ASUN Freshman of the Year Devon Ortiz is raking .323 and has scored a team high 24 runs to go along with seven doubles, one triple, 13 RBI and 14 walks.

Upstate’s pitching staff has a combined 4.99 team ERA which is second worst in the league. They have allowed an ASUN-high 30 home runs, 143 earned runs and 302 hits. They have 245 strikeouts and 94 walks in 258 innings and are holding opponents to a .290 average.

Senior hurler Jordan Miller has appeared in five contests this season, but will be making his first start of the year on Friday. He has allowed six runs in eight innings.

Sunday’s starter Blake Whitney is tied for fifth in the ASUN with 47 strikeouts. His 12.56 strikeouts per game are third best.


Probable Rotation:

Lipscomb: RHP – Brady Puckett (3-2, 4.10 ERA, 41.2 IP, 19 ER, 35 K, 11 BB)
USC Upstate: RHP –  Jordan Miller (1-0, 3.38 ERA, 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 K, 4 BB)

Lipscomb: RHP – Jeffrey Passantino (1-0, 2.11 ERA, 38.1 IP, 9 ER, 49 K, 4 BB)
USC Upstate: RHP – Kevin Hickey (2-3, 2.97 ERA, 33.1 IP, 11 ER, 30 K, 10 BB)

Lipscomb: RHP – Dayton Tripp (2-1, 5.88 ERA, 26.0 IP, 17 ER, 15 K, 8 BB)
USC Upstate: RHP – Blake Whitney (3-2, 4.54 ERA, 33.2 IP, 17 ER, 47 K, 18 BB)


Quick hits:

  • Lipscomb enters Friday’s opener with a 14-10 lead in the all-time series after winning six of the last seven meetings, including 2-of-3 in 2016.
  • The Bisons have gone 7-2 against USC Upstate over the previous three years. Lipscomb has gone 4-1 in Spartanburg during that time, while outscoring the Spartans 48 runs to 16.
  • Lipscomb’s 33 stolen bases and its .805 success rate are tops in the ASUN. The Bisons have swiped 16 bases in their last seven games, more than the total they had in their previous 16 combined. They stole a season high six bags last Saturday against Evansville, the most in a game since taking eight against Mississippi Valley State on March 24, 2016.
  • Lipscomb is the only team in the ASUN that has two players with 20 or more bases on balls this year. Gigliotti's 22 are second only to USC Upstate's J.J. Shimko, as the junior has drawn walks in 14 games. Gigliotti ranks 20th in the country.
  • Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the Bisons are a combined 58-26 at home and 23-25 on the road.
  • Michael Gigliotti lost his 20-game on-base streak last Friday, and has reached in all but two games this season. For his career, Gigliotti has only failed to reach first in 11-of-133 career games.
  • Lipscomb's 11 home runs and six triples have all come at Dugan Field this year, yet the Bisons run production has been most impressive on the road, averaging 7.6 runs per game when playing visitor.
  • Gigliotti and Lee Solomon are the top two base stealers in the conference with eight apiece.
  • Senior reliever Denton Norman is 25th in the nation with 14 appearances on the mound in 2017. He has a team best three saves to go along with two wins.
  • Gigliotti needs just one triple to become the school’s all-time leader in three-baggers. He currently has eight for his career. The junior outfielder is fourth all-time in steals (40) and walks (78) and ranks fifth in runs scored (126).
  • Lipscomb's 17 double plays are second only to Jacksonville's 19, as the Bisons have turned multiple double plays in four games this season.
  • Hunter Hanks has been on a tear since moving to second base. The senior has a hit in five of his last six games. In those six games the Bisons are 4-2 while Hanks has posted a team high .429 batting average with nine hits in 21 at-bats. He has added six RBI, four runs, three doubles and a triple to go along with two 3-hit performances.
  • Cade Sorrells has been the best hitter all season long for the Bisons. He leads the team with a .326 clip. The lefty first baseman is tops on the team with Zeke Dodson at 28 hits, a .458 OBP and seven multi-hit games. With 19 RBI, he trails only Jake Perry (20). Sorrells has reached base in 21 of Lipscomb’s 24 games.
  • The one hit by the Bisons on Tuesday against Vandy were the fewest since Feb. 20, 2015 against Tennessee.
  • Zeke Dodson extended his team-high hit streak to seven games. He and Solomon also extended their team-high on-base streaks to nine games.
  • Coach Forehand picked up career win No. 500 last weekend against Evansville with a 4-1 victory in the series opener.
  • The Bisons are 3-2 on the road this season after going just 5-16 away from Nashville in 2016.
  • Brady Puckett threw his second CG of 2017 against Evansville, keeping the Aces scoreless through eight. The junior was just three outs away from becoming the first Bison in the Division I era to toss two shutouts in a season, going the distance for the seventh time in his career. His two complete games are tied for the fifth most in the nation. 
  • Jeffrey Passantino has not allowed a walk in his last three outings. His 12.25 strikeout to walk ratio is 6th best across Division I.
  • His 49 Ks are tied for the 23rd most.
  • Lipscomb is 4-1 in games that Tripp starts for the Bisons.


Up Next:

The Bisons continue road action on Tuesday night traveling to Tennessee Tech at 6 p.m.

For more information on the baseball program, continue to check for daily updates or follow @BisonBaseball on twitter.