UNION — The USC Union Bantams baseball team was ranked No. 7 in the nation in a poll released on Thursday.
The 2014 NCBA DII Preseason Rawlings Top 5 Poll ranks the Bantams at No. 7 out of 105 schools in their division. The poll is the result of votes by a panel of 12 NCBA officials. The team’s highest ranking during last season was No. 4.
For 2014, the Bantams have been moved to the District III West division, in which they join Tennessee, Armstrong Atlantic, Furman, and Orangeburg-Calhoun (OC) Tech.
The team will travel to Florence this weekend for its first series of the season, against Florence Darlington.
Next week, the Bantams will play their first home game of the season against OC Tech. Coach Paul Wilkes said he and the players hope the stands will be full at Timken Sports Complex for that game on Feb. 8.
“Not only do the fans help support the game-day atmosphere, but they also support us financially throughout the year,” Wilkes said, explaining that gate profits are split 50/50 with the Timken Sports Complex.
Gate admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and free for ages 10 and under. Funds raised will go toward van rentals, lodging, food, uniforms and equipment. Other ways for the team to raise money will include sponsorships of team calendars and game programs. The team is currently looking for local businesses to sponsor either of those. Anyone who is interested in sponsoring the team may contact Paul Wilkes or Annie Smith at (864) 429-8728 (USCU).
USC Union Bantams 2014 Spring Schedule
Feb. 1-2 — USC Union at Florence Darlington (DH)
Feb. 8 — OC Tech at USC Union (9 inning) *
Feb. 9 — USC Union at OC Tech (9 inning)
Feb. 15 — USC Sumter at USC Union (DH) *
Feb. 16 — USC Union at USC Sumter (DH)
Feb. 22-23 — Gray Military at USC Union (DH) *
Mar. 1-2 — USC Union at OC Tech (DH)
Mar. 15-16 — Gray Military at USC Union (DH) *
Mar. 29-30 — Tennessee at USC Union (DH) *
Apr. 5-6 — USC Union at Armstrong Atlantic (DH)
Apr. 12-13 — Furman at USC Union (DH) *
Apr. 26-27 — Methodist at USC Union (DH) *
May 2-4 — Playoffs in Martinsville, Va.
* Home games