CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern begins its final week of preparations for Big South Conference play on Wednesday night against crosstown rival College of Charleston. First pitch is at 6 p.m. at Patriots Point.
The game probably marks the end of the toughest stretch of the Buccaneers' schedule this season. CSU has played five of its last 10 games against SEC opponents, including a series at now-No. 20 South Carolina.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
6 p.m. – RHP Evan Nations (0-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. TBA
CofC is the latest team on the Bucs' slate to jump in the polls, entering the rankings this week at No. 23. After giving themselves a chance to win at USC twice this weekend only to come up short, the Bucs are ready to notch a win against a ranked rival.
"This is a team we really enjoy playing," CSU head coach Stuart Lake said Tuesday. "We feel like we played pretty well at Carolina the last two games and had a chance to win in the ninth both days. This is a good chance to build some momentum heading into conference play next week."
Sophomore Chris Singleton leads the Bucs with 15 RBI and six extra-base hits through 16 games. He's been a spark for the Bucs' offense early in the season and continues to be among the Big South leaders in RBI and total bases.
"Chris has been a pretty steady RBI guy for us early in the season," Lake said of the outfielder. "He's been a constant and has anchored the middle of our lineup. His numbers would be even better if we had played at The Joe (early in the season). Even for a minor league park, it plays really long."
The Bucs are hoping for a repeat performance from RHP Evan Nations. Last week against USC Upstate, he struck out four and scattered five hits in a 3-1 CSU win midweek action. He didn't get the decision, but gave the Bucs a quality start to close out a stretch of five games in five days.
CofC enters the game off a 9-7 loss at Furman on Tuesday night. The Cougars had won eight-straight games before the midweek loss.
CSU opens a three-game series with George Washington on Friday at 6 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.