Season's Last Leg Begins for Bucs Baseball; Follow the Action OnlineMay 6, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
With the CSU baseball team traveling to Greenville for a a road game against Furman, a difficult stretch to end the regular season will be underway. The Buccaneers play eight of their final nine games away from the friendly confines of Buccaneer Field, beginning with Tuesday's 6 p.m. contest with the Paladins. CSU must then compete in the Big South Conference Championship tournament in Danville, Va.
Full Games Notes for May 6 (Furman)
Furman holds 31-16 advantage in the all-time series with the Bucs. The Paladins have claimed victory seven consecutive times against the Bucs, including a sweep of last season’s home-and-home series. CSU’s last win over Furman came on May 16, 2003 when the Bucs shut out the Paladins, 3-0.
Scouting the Paladins
One of the top teams in the Southern Conference, Furman brings a 29-15 record into Tuesday’s contest. The Paladins have a 15-6 mark in the SoCon action, with sweeps in their last three conference series. And they have done it with a balanced lineup.
Freshman Reese Wade is turning heads in his first collegiate season, batting .464 in 30 games for Furman. While no other player has near the average of Wade, the Paladins have eight players batting between .300 and .320 to help them to a .306 team average on the season. That mark is more than 20 points better than their opponents.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Ryan Lang is schedule to make the first start of his collegiate career for Furman on Tuesday in just his fifth appearance in a Paladins uniform. He has a 7.71 earned run average in four and a third innings of work, striking out four and walking three.
Last Time Out
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Outscoring the CSU baseball team 21-4 on Saturday, Liberty recorded a pair of wins to finish a three-game sweep of the Buccaneers. Senior Ryan Page of the Flames pitched a complete game in the nightcap of the doubleheader, shutting down the Bucs in an 8-2 victory. Although CSU tallied 11 hits in game one, led by a 2-for-4 effort with one run batted in by freshman Steve Antolik, Liberty used eight unearned runs to claim the 13-2 win.
Among the Best
Senior Payton Tweddale was one of only five lefties listed among the 45 relief pitchers on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List. Tweddale leads the Bucs and is fifth in the Big South Conference with a 3.09 earned run average, having given up just 16 earned runs in 46 and two-thirds innings of work. Already the program leader in career saves (18), Tweddale is nearing Nino Fasulo’s record of 100 career appearances, having taken the mound 98 times in four years with the Bucs.
With a two-run home run in the bottom of the first innings in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, freshman Derek Smith became the first Buccaneer since 2004 to reach double digits in homers. Three players accomplished the feat in 2004, but no CSU player has had more than eight home runs since until Smith’s shot cleared the wall. He pushed his season RBI total to 40, putting him within striking distance of the program record for RBI in a season of 47. Fellow freshman Steve Antolik, who has nine homers this season, isn’t far from matching the effort.
Movin’ On Up
Freshman Taylor Black was moved up to the fifth spot in the Buccaneer batting order on Sunday and delivered a 2-for-4 performance.
On The Horizon
In their final midweek game away from their home field, the Bucs will not have to travel far. CSU is set to take on the College of Charleston at 7 p.m. on Wednesday before beginning a three-game series against Big South Conference foe UNC Asheville at 3 p.m. on Friday. The Bucs then play the Bulldogs at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.