Bucs Set to Take On Radford in Opening Round; Follow the Action OnlineMay 19, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
With the regular season in the books, the Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship is next on the schedule for Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers earned the No. 7 seed for the tournament, which will pit them against No. 6 seed Radford in the opening round of the tournament on Tuesday, May 20. There are two opening round games, with the winner of each advancing to the double-elimination portion of the bracket starting Wednesday. CSU and Radford will open the tournament with a 4 p.m. game, followed by a match up between No. 5 High Point and No. 8 UNC Asheville.
Full Game Notes for May 20 (Radford)
Follow the Tournament Live
Live Video (Big South Edge, subscription service)
Radford holds a 33-25 advantage in the all-time series with the Buccaneers. The Highlanders won this season’s series 2-1 on their home field. All three games were closely-contested, however, with none decided by more than four runs. Freshman Taylor Black fared the best for CSU in the series, hitting .545 with one home run and four RBI in the three games.
Scouting the Highlanders
Big South Player of the Year candidate Alex Gregory leads the high-power Radford offense into the conference tournament. The Highlanders are second in the conference in team batting average (.301) and on-base percentage (.384).
Gregory is having a stellar junior campaign. He leads the league with a .389 batting average and also ranks among the Big South leaders in runs scored, hits, home runs, RBI, total bases, walks, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. His sophomore teammate Reggie Keen is on his heels, batting .374 on the year.
Radford’s top starter on the season, senior Eric Evans is likely to take the mound in this elimination game. He is ninth in the conference with a 3.56 earned run average and is one of only four players to toss a complete-game shutout.
Last Time Out
LEXINGTON, Va. – Charleston Southern hit three home runs, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a sweep by Virginia Military Institute, which used three runs in its last at-bats to claim a 9-7 victory. Freshman Steve Antolik homered for the second straight game for the Buccaneers, moving into a tie for the team lead with 11 on the season. He also had an RBI single, driving in three runs in the loss.
Riding The Wave
Freshman Tom Burkett has turned it up when it matters most as CSU heads into the Big South Conference tournament. He has hit six home runs during his current eight-game hitting streak, the third most homers on the squad. The total also ties him with teammate Derek Smith, freshman, for the fifth-most home runs among league players during conference play. He leads the team with a .361 batting average in Big South games.
Ending the Drought
After raising his average above .380, Antolik entered the series against VMI with a .348 mark. He found his stroke against the Keydets, however, hitting home runs on consecutive days to push his season total to 11. He is tied with Smith for the team lead, as both have become the first Bucs to reach double digits since 2004.
Player of the Year Candidate
In his first year with CSU baseball, Smith has proven to be a potential corner stone for the program. He leads the Bucs with 42 runs batted in and is tied for the team lead with 11 home runs. Smith has a team-best 18 RBI during conference action and his 46 total base during league play is tied for the team high.
Getting Thing Started
Junior Mark Perry has embraced the role of leadoff batter this season. He leads the team in both walks (32) and on-base percentage (.426), ranking among the Big South leaders in both categories. He has kept it up during league play, compiling a .404 on-base percentage and tying for second on the team with 14 RBI.
On The Horizon
If the Bucs defeat Radford, they will advance to the double elimination portion of the tournament bracket. Their opponent will depend on the remaining seeds. If CSU falls to Radford, it will mark the end of the 2008 season.