CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern will turn back the clock to it's Baptist College days this weekend when the Buccaneers host Gardner-Webb in Big South Conference action. The series opener is Friday night at 6 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.
While the Bucs will wear throwback Baptist College uniforms on Saturday, Bucs head coach Stuart Lake wants to build on the present.
CSU (13-18, 3-6 Big South) is coming off the program's first win over Clemson on Wednesday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Bucs were relaxed and refreshed at Thursday's practice, something Lake was glad to see from his team.
"You saw that energy today in practice that comes from getting a win against a big-time program," Lake said Thursday after practice. "Gardner-Webb is a team that's two wins ahead of us in the standings and our guys know they need to play well this weekend to get into the tournament at the end of the year."
Lake broke out this weekend's throwback uniforms on Thursday at practice to give his team a little bit of boost heading into the weekend. The Baptist College uniforms are in honor of Charleston Southern University's 50th anniversary, being celebrated this year.
"Our guys were excited when they saw the new uniforms today," Lake said of the throwback uniforms. "They showed that excitement you have when you get something new. I'm hoping for a good turnout on Saturday at 4 (p.m.)."
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (CSU VS. GARDNER-WEBB)
Game 1 – Fri. 6 p.m. – LHP Andrew Tomasovich (4-3, 2.54 ERA) vs. LHP LHP Erik Heilgenstadt (3-2, 2.66 ERA)
Game 2 – Sat. 4 p.m. – RHP Evan Raynor (2-3, 2.93 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Fraudin (3-3, 5.32 ERA)
Game 3 – Sun. 2 p.m. – RHP Kyle McDorman (1-4, 3.34 ERA) vs. LHP Mitch Warner (2-3, 2.68 ERA)
Freshman Chris Singleton gave the Bucs' offense a jolt in Wednesday's win, piling up a career-high four hits and driving in two run in the win. He had the game-tying RBI single with two outs in the ninth and then made a diving catch to win the game in the 10th. He has seen his average climb to .300 of late.
After a slow start to the season, the Bucs' pitching staff – especially its weekend starters – are coming on strong at the right time of year. Junior Andrew Tomasovich and senior Kyle McDorman both gave up two earned runs on solid starts against Liberty last weekend. McDorman has allowed only nine hits and three earned runs in 16.2 innings of work in conference play.
After piling up double figures in hits in 11-of-15 games to open the season, the Bucs cooled off in March. After 13 hits Wednesday at Clemson, Lake expects his team to put together the complete weekend they need.
"It's been hard to figure out," Lake said. "Early, we were concerned about the pitching, then, as it got going, the hitting took time off. That can't happen this weekend. We play a very good Gardner-Webb team and our guys know we'll need complete games to come away with wins."
Gardner-Webb (17-16, 5-7) struggled with some of the issues that CSU faced last weekend. The Runnin' Bulldogs, who were swept at home by Radford, also lost a 2-1 conference game and struggled to score in a pair of low-scoring losses.
The Runnin' Bulldogs have struggled offensively and have a .249 team batting average, but their pitching staff more than picks up the offense. Five G-W pitchers have an ERA of 3.00 or less and were a big part of the team's 10-game winning streak in February.
All three games are scheduled for the Big South Network (weather permitting). Visit csusports.com for live video and multimedia links.