Spartanburg, S.C. – Thirty-five games inside the friendly confines of Harley Park, 10 games against teams that reached the 2014 NCAA Tournament and exciting weekend series against Atlantic Sun opponents highlight the 2015 USC Upstate baseball schedule, it was announced by head coach Matt Fincher on Tuesday.
Upstate ushers in the opening weekend of the season with non-conference matchups with Dayton (Feb. 13), Boston College (Feb. 14) and Xavier (Feb. 15). The Spartans will also host Winthrop (Feb. 18), ETSU (Feb. 20), Pittsburgh (Feb. 21), Miami (OH) (Feb. 22) and Gardner-Webb (Feb. 25) before closing out the month with a three-game series against Atlantic 10 foe Saint Joseph’s (Feb. 27-March 1).
The Spartans put the finishing touches on a 14-game homestand when Upstate welcomes Valparaiso for a three-game series (March 6-8). Upstate then heads east for back-to-back non-conference road games against Charleston Southern (March 10) and 2014 NCAA Super Regional participant College of Charleston (March 11).
Upstate next returns to the diamond to take part in the annual Greenville Drive First Pitch Invitational hosted by Michigan State at Fluor Field. The Spartans will face host Michigan State (March 13), UConn (March 14) and Furman (March 15) over the course of the weekend. Upstate returns home to host Charleston Southern (March 18) before welcoming 2014 NCAA Regional participant Columbia to Spartanburg for a four-game series with the Lions (March 19-22).
“I like our non-conference schedule because we have some teams coming in from outside our region that bring a lot of excitement,” Fincher said. “I think our guys will also enjoy going down to play at Fluor Field in what looks to be like a very strong and competitive tournament. I know our guys will be looking forward to playing those teams in that environment.”
Midweek non-conference games against Presbyterian (March 24) and at Winthrop (March 25) bring Upstate to its first A-Sun action of the season, as the Spartans take to the road for a three-game series at 2014 NCAA Super Regional participant Kennesaw State (March 27-29). Upstate closes the month of March at home against College of Charleston (March 31).
The Spartans begin April with a three-game series at Florida Gulf Coast (April 2-4) before back-to-back non-conference games against Furman (April 7) and at Gardner-Webb (April 8). Upstate then hosts Stetson (April 10-12) to begin a stretch of four consecutive conference series at home. The Spartans will also face Lipscomb (April 17-19), Northern Kentucky (April 24-26) and North Florida (May 8-10) at Harley Park.
“It was interesting how the conference schedule shook out this year where we go on the road twice before coming home for a stretch of four straight series,” Fincher said. “Playing Kennesaw State and Florida Gulf Coast in back-to-back series on the road to start league play is going to be quite the challenge, but hopefully we can find a way to get through that and hold serve at home to be competitive within the league.”
Following the series with the Hatters, Upstate has remaining non-conference games at Furman (April 14), Wofford (April 15), Presbyterian (April 21), UNC Asheville (May 6) and South Carolina (May 12). The Spartans close the regular season May 14-16 with a three-game series at Jacksonville.