CSU Baseball vs. Furman Game Notes; Follow the Action OnlineFebruary 27, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
CSU’s baseball squad returns to action today for a one-game showdown with Furman at 2 p.m. The Buccaneers are coming off a 7-1 win over Ohio on Sunday, although the Bobcats took the three-game series, 2-1. Freshman right-handed pitcher Tyler Thornburg will take the mound for CSU, making his first collegiate appearance on the hill.
Live Video (Big South Edge, subscription service)
Live Stats (Gametracker)
Furman leads the all-time series with a 25-14 advantage over the Buccaneers, having won the last five meetings between the teams. CSU’s last victory in the series came during the 2005 season, when the Bucs defended their home field with a 9-7 victory over the Paladins.
Scouting the Paladins
Furman returns 12 pitchers and five position players from last year’s starters as it looks to regain the form that led the Paladins to a 2005 Southern Conference Tournament championship. After tying a program record with 32 wins in 2006, the Paladins recorded 19 wins in 2007.
On offense, third baseman Bobby Hubbard and left fielder Jay Jackson finished one of the team lead with six home runs last season. Hubbard was tied for first on the squad with 42 runs batted in.
The Paladins pitching squad returns six players who made starts last season, including Jay Jackson and Mason Smith, who started 13 games each.
Last Time Out
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Solid outings from junior pitchers Brandon Roberts and Andrew White helped the Buccaneers earn a split with Ohio in a CSU baseball doubleheader on Sunday. Both starters struck out seven batters as the Buccaneers lost to Ohio, 6-2, in game one and defeated the Bobcats, 7-1, in the second contest.
In 69 at-bats last season, sophomore Will Rodriguez had just three extra-base hits, all of which were doubles. He boosted his slugging percentage right of the bat in 2008, hitting a solo home run in just his fourth trip to the plate.
Closing the Deal
Entering his final collegiate season, senior closer Payton Tweddale has already built an impressive resume while in a Buccaneer uniform. His eight saves last season set a new program record and pushed his career total to 13, which is also a CSU all-time record. He posted a 2.96 earned run average, going 3-2 on the season with 57 strikeouts in 51.2 innings of work. Tweddale picked up the save in a 7-1 win over Ohio on Sunday, pushing his record total to 14.
2008 – Building Buccaneer Baseball
In his efforts to rebuild the CSU baseball program over the last three seasons, head coach Jason Murray has had a consistent vision for Buccaneer baseball.
“Since day one of taking over this program, our goal has been to have pitching and defense as the pillars of our program,” Murray said.
The pitching staff will anchor the 2008 squad. Junior Andrew White led CSU with a 2.80 ERA last season, and senior Payton Tweddale, the program’s all-time leader in saves, will anchor the staff. In the field, 17 new faces to the Buccaneer program will look to shore up the team defense.
“This year, with our key returners and experience, I think we should be in a position to compete every day,” said Murray. “I also like the fact that we have talented freshmen who can push our upperclassmen to get better.”
On The Horizon
With one of its midweek games pushed back to April, Wednesday’s game is the finally tune up before CSU starts a three-game series with Stony Brook this weekend. Things will begin with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and the series will conclude at Collins Park at 1 p.m. on Sunday.