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Spartans Set To Play Role Of Underdogs Again

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Freshman Austin Moyer leads Upstate in A-Sun games in hitting with a .333 average and 10 RBI.

Freshman Austin Moyer leads Upstate in A-Sun games in hitting with a .333 average and 10 RBI.

April 9, 2009

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Having snapped a 12-game losing skid on Wednesday, the USC Upstate baseball team will barely get a breather before heading to Atlantic Sun Conference-leading Kennesaw State to open a three-game set starting Friday night at 6 p.m. The first game of the series will feature a classic pitcher's duel, as projected first/second round draft pick Kyle Heckathorn of Kennesaw State will take on another of the league's best pitcher's in junior Matt Branham.

Both Heckathorn and Branham have racked up strikeouts this season, with Heckathorn sending back 52 batters in 45.2 innings, which is third in the conference. Branham, meanwhile, has K'd 47 in 43.2 innings, which is good for fifth in the league. The Owls also feature two other strong pitchers in Chad Jenkins, who is 11th in the A-Sun in ERA, and Justin Edwards, who round out the rotation.

Quick Hits
• Junior Jimmy Tanner needs two hits to become the 14th in school history to reach 150 career hits.
• Senior Phillip Morgan fell a triple short of the cycle against Wake Forest, posting a career-high four hits and adding a career-high six RBI in the game. He hit a three-run homer, his team-leading fourth, in the eighth inning.
• Freshmen Austin Moyer and Jeff Medley are leading Upstate's offense during A-Sun games. Moyer is hitting .333 with a team-high 10 RBI and Medley is hitting a team-high .342 with six runs, a team-high four doubles and eight RBI.
• Senior Eric Guillen blasted Upstate's first grand slam of the DI era on Wednesday night against Presbyterian in the five-run eighth-inning. It was the Spartans' first grand slam since Bret Hanson hit one against Georgia College & State University on March 31, 2007.
• Senior Eric Guillen has driven in a career-high four runs three times this season, doing so against SIU Edwardsville, Mercer and Presbyterian.
• Junior Jimmy Tanner scored a career-high four runs against Presbyterian on Wednesday.
• The Spartans have averaged 10.4 runs per game over the last five games, scoring a season-high 16 runs on Wednesday against Presbyterian.

 
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