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Guillen Named Thomas L. Smith Scholarship Recipient

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Senior Eric Guillen's all-out playing style helped him earn the Smith Scholarship.

Senior Eric Guillen's all-out playing style helped him earn the Smith Scholarship.

Jan. 21, 2009

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The fourth recipient of the Thomas L. Smith Memorial Scholarship is Eric Guillen, USC Upstate head baseball coach Matt Fincher announced on Wednesday.

Guillen is a senior shortstop from Thousand Oaks, Calif., where he played at Thousand Oaks High School for Rod Stillwell. He joined the USC Upstate baseball team as a freshman in 2006. Now in his fourth year at Upstate, Guillen is set to graduate as an Information Systems major.

Guillen has played all but five games in the past two seasons for the Spartans. As a sophomore, Guillen started 52 games, mostly at second base. He hit .326 with six doubles, 27 RBIs and 29 RBIs while helping the Spartans to its best-ever record in the Peach Belt Conference.

As a junior, Guillen started every game of the season at shortstop, moving over from his natural position at second base. The key cog of the Spartan defense, Guillen helped turn 34 double plays. He also hit .261 and posted his second-straight 50-hit season, notching a career-high 33 runs and adding 23 RBIs.

Eric has shown dedication to USC Upstate both on and off the field, and will be a major contributor to the program in 2008. The USC Upstate Baseball Program is proud to award Eric Guillen with the Thomas L. Smith Memorial Scholarship.

Now in its fifth year, the Thomas L. Smith Scholarship is awarded annually to a present or former USC Upstate baseball player, currently enrolled at the University, who has made significant contributions to the program. The memorial scholarship has been created to honor Mr. Smith, provide opportunity for others, and serve as a reminder as to the real reasons we play baseball.

The scholarship has had four recipients in its five-year history, from Thomas L. Smith's grandson to one of the finest players to ever play at Upstate, the scholarship has been passed on as an enduring symbol in the Spartan program of hard work and love for the game.

Year       Avg  GP-GS    AB    R    H  2B  3B  HR  RBI   BB SO SB-ATT  FLD%
2006....  .140  30-13    57    8    8   3   0   0    3   2  15  1-2    .946
2007....  .326  52-48   184   29   60   6   0   0   27   21 27  4-4    .963
2008....  .261  54-54   218   33   57   3   2   0   23   11 41  2-4    .919
TOTAL...  .272 136-115  459   70  125  12   2   0   53   34 83  7-10   .941  
USC Upstate Baseball
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