Bucs put five-game winning streak on line in weekend series with Gamecocks

Bucs put five-game winning streak on line in weekend series with Gamecocks

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern is getting its fill of SEC Baseball. The Buccaneers will make it five games in a stretch of 10 days against SEC opponents by the time this weekend's series at South Carolina wraps up on Sunday. 

CSU opens a three-games series with the Gamecocks on Friday at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium in Columbia. 

TV: All three games will be carried on SEC Network +, the online platform of the SEC Network. Line are available HERE.

The Bucs, in the midst of a five-game winning streak, know what they're up against this weekend in a 12-2 South Carolina team. CSU head coach Stuart Lake knows his team can't try worry about what South Carolina does. Much like in their season-opening win over the West Virginia, the Bucs just need to play their game: pitching, defense, and gritty at the plate. 

"We need to go up there and be who we are," Lake said. "We're facing a very good South Carolina team and we know that. We need to go up there and stick to who we are, starting pitching and tough outs at the plate, and I think we'll have a good weekend." 

The Bucs have seen a boost in their offensively numbers since moving home. CSU have averaged 14 hits per game in three home games this season, but it's been the starting pitching that has Lake attention. Starters have lasted at least six innings in four of the five games during the winning streak, which started with a combined one-hitter by Evan Raynor and Cody Smith on Saturday. 

"Starting pitching has allowed us to find a groove," Lake added. "Offense has come to life since we moved home to our ballpark, but starting pitching and a number of options out of the bullpen have made us a more complete team the last week." 

PROBABLE STARTERS

CSU (8-5) vs. South Carolina (12-2)

Friday, 7 p.m. – RHP Evan Raynor (3-0, 0.43 ERA) vs. RHP Clarke Schmidt (3-0, 0.43 ERA)

Saturday, 4 p.m. - LHP Daniel Johnson (2-1, 4.34) vs. RHP Braden Webb (2-1, 2.51 ERA)

Sunday, 1:30 p.m. – RHP Jon Piriz (0-1, 1.93) vs. RHP Adam Hill (3-0, 0.64 ERA) 

RAYNOR ROLLING – Senior RHP Evan Raynor is 3-0 with a 0.48 ERA through three games. He has allowed only one earned run in 21.0 innings of work this season, striking out 19, just less than one per inning. Raynor is 7-2 in his last eight regular season starts. 

RBI GUY – Chris Singleton is piling up RBI early in the season. Batting .383, the sophomore outfielder is fifth in the Big South with 15 RBI. He has three sacrifice flies on the year and homered last week against Georgia. Singleton is about 10 total feet from four home runs. He hit the top of the fence twice in last week's series again UMass.  

RED-HOT EDWARDS – CSU's Sly Edwards is playing the best baseball of his career and is batting an eye-popping .613 during the Bucs' five game win streak. Edwards leads the team in walks with eight and has a team-best .509 on-base percentage. He finished the '15 season as one of the hottest bats in the Bucs' lineup, becoming a starter over the final month of the season, and has carried it right into 2016 with a .413 average. 

SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS: South Carolina is off to an impressive 12-2 start. USC has swept Penn State and Albany early in the year and is 4-0 against the State of South Carolina with wins over Furman, Wofford, The Citadel, and Winthrop. The Gamecocks have a team ERA of 2.03 and have 143 strikeouts to 45 walks. Junior catcher John Jones leads USC with a .480 average and four home runs. 

-CSU- 

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