Baseball Preview: Alabama State

Baseball Preview:  Alabama State

Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team returns home this weekend, and begins a four-game homestand, as it hosts the Alabama State Hornets in a three-game non-conference series at Harley Park.

The series begins on Friday evening with game one scheduled for 6 p.m. Game two follows on Saturday with first pitch set for 2 p.m. The series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

USC Upstate (20-22) has won three games in a row entering the weekend and is playing for the first time since April 26-28 when it swept a three-game conference series at Longwood. Drake Harris led the Spartans with a .667 average while J.J. Shimko contributed a .571 batting average with one home run and five RBI. Offensively, USC Upstate outscored Longwood 29-12. Jordan Marks, Trey Van Der Weide and Caleb Matthews each collected a win on the mound.

Shimko was recognized for his performance last week against Furman and Longwood by being named the Big South Player of the Week for the second consecutive week.

Shimko leads the Spartans offensively this season with a .410 average while Garett Wallace has a team-high five home runs. Andres Kim contributes a team-best 23 RBI. On the mound, Marks and Will Wheeler both have four wins. Wheeler adds a team-leading 1.85 ERA.

Alabama State (25-22) is coming off a pair of midweek losses against Troy and UAB. The Hornets fell 20-5 versus Troy on Tuesday and 12-9 at UAB on Wednesday. Yamil Pagan leads the team with a .372 batting average, 13 home runs and 50 RBI. Noel Cheneau has a team-high 58 RBI. On the mound, Jeremy Rivera and Ricardo Rivera both have six wins while Darren Kelly has compiled a 2.60 ERA. Alabama State is under the direction of third-year head coach Jose Vazquez.

Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. Updates will also be posted on the USC Upstate baseball Twitter page (@UpstateBSB).

The Spartans remain at home on Wednesday, May 8 to host Wofford at 6 p.m.

Follow USC Upstate baseball on Facebook (UpstateAthletics), Twitter (@UpstateBSB), Instagram (@upstatespartans), YouTube (USCUpstateAthletics) and text/e-mail alerts (www.upstatespartans.com/list-signup).