Bucs Open Big South Play Against Radford; Follow the Action OnlineMarch 27, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
Friday will make the beginning of Big South Conference action for the CSU baseball team. The Buccaneers will get league play started with a three-game series against Radford (13-9), traveling to Virginia to take on the Highlanders. It is the first time this season that CSU (9-13) will play consecutive games on the road.
Full Game Notes for Winthrop (March 28-30)
Live Video (Saturday only, Big South Edge subscription service)
Radford leads the all-time series with CSU, 31-24, but the Buccaneers have had the Highlanders’ number as of late, having won five straight. CSU earned a sweep last season, winning by scores of 2-1, 703 and 6-3. The Bucs also won the season series in 2006, claiming two victories in three games. After the Highlanders won the series-opener, 13-10, CSU picked up 8-4 and 13-10 victories.
Scouting the Highlanders
Radford comes into the series with a 13-9 record, having been on both sides of momentum. After dropping their season-opener, the Highlanders six consecutive games, including wins over Georgetown and Davidson. They then lost eight of their next 11 contests to fall to .500 on the season. Radford has rebounded, however, having won its last four games entering this weekend.
Three players are batting over .400 on the season for the Highlanders, including Alex Gregory, who leads the team with 27 runs batted in. Reggie Keen has a team-best .430 batting average and is second on the squad with 22 RBI. Raphael Turner it the third member of the hot-hitting trio, compiling a .414 average in 18 games this season. All three contribute to an offense that is among the Big South leaders.
Last Time Out
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Both pitching staffs had strong outings on Monday, but Air Force came out on top in a 2-1 victory over the CSU baseball team. Freshman Anthony Markham pitched 6.2 solid innings for the Buccaneers, but Alex Truesdale and Michael Ruvolo combined to allow just six hits on the mound for the Falcons in the win.
One of five true freshman in the regular CSU starting lineup, infielder Taylor Black has already rode quite a roller coaster. He started the season as the Bucs’ second baseman, but lost the gig after hitting .105 in the first five games. Opportunity knocked on his door on March 12, however, and Black answered emphatically with a pair of doubles in his first start at short stop. He’s since started nine consecutive games for CSU at short, lifting his average to .258 on the season.
Slugging percentage, way to gauge a hitter’s ability to hit for power, is calculated by dividing total bases by the number of at-bats. Freshmen Steve Antolik and Derek Smith have made the most of that equation for the Bucs this season. The duo lead the team with .675 and .653 marks, respectively. Antolik has accumulated 54 total bases (six 18 singles, six double, six home runs) in 80 at-bats, while Smith has 47 total bases (17 singles, seven doubles, four home runs) in his 72 at-bats.
On The List
Junior catch Jake Cox has been named to the 2008 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award Watch List, given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher. On the season, Cox has an on-base percentage of .383 thanks to 13 drawn walks, which is second on the squad. He has thrown out 10 of 19 runners trying to steal bases on him this season, thwarting .526 percent of the attempts.
On The Horizon
While conference season is underway, the Bucs will play a pair of mid-week games in preparation for a weekend series with Big South foe High Point. The College of Charleston will be at Buccaneer Field at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and then CSU will travel to Savannah State for a 2 p.m. game on Wednesday. The Bucs host High Point for a three-game series next weekend beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday followed by a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday.