CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Buccaneers return to action on Tuesday night at their home-away-from-home with a 6 p.m. first pitch against The Citadel at Joe Riley Park.
The meeting is the first of two in eight days for the Buccaneers and Bulldogs. The teams will meet again next Tuesday at CSU Ballpark. CSU has already played eight games at Joe Riley Park this season, going 5-3 against West Virginia, UMass, and Butler in February.
CSU (11-13) vs. The Citadel (11-13)
RHP Evan Nations (0-3, 3.12 ERA) vs. RHP Phillip Watcher (0-1, 7.43 ERA)
CSU (11-13) will try to shake off a strange weekend series against Campbell. The Bucs let leads slip away in losses on Thursday and Saturday, but had their two biggest innings of the season in Friday's 18-7 win. Head Coach Stuart Lake (8th season) became the Bucs' all-time wins leader in Big South play in the win, passing Gary Murphy ('97-'04).
While records are sweet, wins over your rivals are often sweeter. The Bucs have used wins over The Citadel as a standard in the past and Lake is hopeful a win on Tuesday would build some momentum for a key Big South series this weekend.
"We've always judged ourselves against The Citadel," Lake said on Monday. "It's a rivalry game for both of us and a big midweek game during conference play. We're excited to go down there and play another game at Joe Riley."
Short but effective innings from the pitching staff will be key to the Bucs' success on Tuesday. CSU will start RHP Evan Nations, but it could be a night where much of the bullpen gets an appearance.
"You're going to see a lot of arms," Lake added. We have a big weekend here against Longwood starting on Friday. We're at home and it's a series we need. Playing well tomorrow night will go a long way for our confidence."
Another big night from the Big South's batting leader would go a long way toward helping as well. Edwards is batting .434 and has five consecutive multi-hit games. He batted .500 last week (9-for-18).
The Citadel took 2-of-3 at former Big South Conference member VMI on the weekend and is 4-3 in the Bulldogs' last seven games including a series win at Presbyterian two weeks ago. The teams split a pair of one-run games.
CSU opens its weekend series with Longwood on Friday night at CSU Ballpark. First pitch is at 6 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.