SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball team will continue its theme of tough schedules as the Spartans will play a total of 11 games against five teams finished in the RPI top-45 a season ago as head coach Matt Fincher has announced today the 2011 baseball schedule.
Upstate will face defending national champion South Carolina, who finished with a RPI of seven, as well as College of Charleston (21), The Citadel (31), Virginia Tech (35) and Florida Gulf Coast (42).
The Spartans will kick off the season on Friday, Feb. 18, as they welcome Colonial Athletic Association member George Mason to Harley Park for the first of eight consecutive home games for Upstate.
Coach Fincher’s team has nine different home and home series on the schedule for the upcoming season. Upstate will face Atlantic Coast Conference member and 2010 NCAA regional participant Virginia Tech (Harley Park, Feb. 22; at Blacksburg, Va., May 4) and Atlantic 10 member Charlotte (Harley Park, Mar. 30; at Charlotte, Apr. 13).
Upstate will square off against a quartet of schools from the Southern Conference this season. The Spartans will face off against two other regional participants in the College of Charleston (at Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Mar. 8; Harley Park, Apr. 20) and The Citadel (Charleston, S.C., Apr. 22; Charleston, S.C., Apr. 23; Harley Park, May 11). Other SoCon match-ups include: Furman (Harley Park, Mar. 22; Greenville, S.C., Mar. 23) and Wofford (Spartanburg, S.C., Mar. 1; Harley Park Mar. 29).
Also on the home and home slate are Big South Conference members Charleston Southern (Charleston, S.C., Mar. 9; Harley Park, Mar. 16) and Gardner-Webb (at Boiling Springs, N.C., Mar. 2; Harley Park, Apr. 6) as well as North Carolina A&T (Harley Park, Feb. 23; Greensboro, N.C., Apr. 19).
Upstate will entertain Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Champion Mercer (May 13-14) as well as A-Sun foes ETSU (Mar. 4-6), North Florida (Mar. 18-19), Stetson (Apr. 1-2), and Belmont (Apr. 8-9). The Spartans will hit the road to face A-Sun Regular Season Champion Florida Gulf Coast (Mar. 25-26), plus league members Jacksonville (Mar. 11-12), Lipscomb (Apr. 15-16), Kennesaw State (May 6-7) and Campbell (May 19-20).