CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern Head Baseball Coach Stuart Lake can become the Buccaneers' all-time Big South wins leader this weekend as Campbell visits CSU Ballpark. The opener of the three-game series is Thursday night at 6 p.m.
NOTE: The weekend is shifted for Easter with a 6 p.m. start on Friday and a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday. Follow @csusports and visit csusports.com for schedule changes with severe weather forecast at times this weekend.
Lake, who is in his eighth season at CSU, began the year tied with Gary Murphy ('97-'04) with 75 Big South wins. He needs 16 more wins this season to become CSU's all-time wins leader.
CSU has faced one of the toughest schedules in the Big South to open the season. Series with West Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina, in addition to midweek games against a ranked CofC and Jacksonville (14-6) has put the Bucs up against some of the top programs in college baseball and should have them more than ready for two months of conference play.
"This is one of the toughest schedules we've played here," Lake said. "We wanted to challenge our guys to before Big South play so they would be ready to take the next step and be fighting for a championship in May."
If the Bucs are to get off to a good start in Big South play, it will be at home. CSU plays its first six conference games at CSU Ballpark (Longwood next weekend) and will played its next eight games in Charleston (at The Citadel, March 29).
Campbell (12-10) comes in on a four-game winning streak after a weekend sweep of North Carolina A&T and a midweek win over N.C. Central yesterday, 15-11. The Camels are led by second baseman Matt Parrish, who is batting .397 with 25 hits, seven for extra bases. Saturday starter Nick Thayer (4-1, 4.19 ERA) is the Camels' wins and strikeouts (33 in 34.1 inn.) leader.
Thursday, 6 p.m. – RHP Evan Raynor (4-1, 1.36 ERA) vs. RHP Wes Noble (1-0, 3.94 ERA)
Friday, 6 p.m. – RHP Jon Piriz (0-3, 4.07) vs. RHP Nick Thayer (4-1. 4.19 ERA)
Saturday, 2 p.m. (No webcast) – LHP Daniel Johnson (3-2, 4.11 ERA) vs. RHP Grant Yost (2-2, 2.74 ERA)
RAYNOR ROLLING: CSU ace Evan Raynor is tied for the Big South lead with four wins (4-1) a month into the season. He has a combined one-hitter to his credit and a win over West Virginia in the season opener. His only loss came at the hands of now No. 14 South Carolina two weeks ago. His 1.36 ERA, 33.0 IP, and 25 Ks lead the Bucs.
TAKING OVER AT DH: Sophomore Mason McClellan is taking control of the DH spot. He's batting a team-leading .424 (14-for-33) with three doubles and five RBI in eight starts. He has four multi-hit games since being inserted into the starting lineup.
BIG SOUTH PLAY BEGINS: Four teams have already opened league play, but the rest of the Big South conference teams get in action on Thursday night. Winthrop (11-10) at High Point (16-5) and Presbyterian (11-9) at Gardner-Webb (19-5) are two of the key weekends series as play gets into full swing. High Point is already 3-0 in league play with a sweep of UNC Asheville.