CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern opens a key Big South series on Saturday with a visit from Longwood to CSU Ballpark.
The series was pushed back a day with heavy rains forecast for Friday and Saturday morning in the Charleston area. First pitch of Saturday's opener is at 4 p.m. with a 2 p.m. first pitch scheduled for Sunday and Monday.
All three games will be carried on the Big South Network and can be followed online at csusports.com.
CSU (11-14, 1-2) needs a series win to get back to at least .500 in Big South play and, more importantly, take care of business at CSU Ballpark. The Buccaneers play four of their final six Big South series away from campus.
The Lancers come to Charleston with two conference series already under their belt. Longwood took a game from Coastal Carolina to open league play, then won the series against Radford last weekend. All three games against the Highlanders last weekend were decided by one run, with Radford rallying from a 5-2 deficit for the win in the series finale.
Longwood (15-11, 3-3) is making a living off of one-run games. Seven of its 15 wins this season have come by a run, including three of the last four. With the Bucs coming off a 12-inning loss at The Citadel on Tuesday and two tight losses last weekend, it's safe to expect some tight games at CSU Ballpark this weekend.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
CSU (11-14, 1-2) vs. Longwood (15-11, 3-3 Big South) - LIVE STATS & VIDEO
Sat. - RHP Evan Raynor (4-1, 1.80 ERA) vs. RHP Travis Burnette (3-1, 2.14 ERA)
Sun. - LHP Daniel Johnson vs. (3-2, 3.53) vs. LHP Steven Farkas (1-1, 2.64 ERA)
Mon. - RHP Jon Piriz (1-3, 5.22 ERA) vs. RHP Luke Simpson (0-1, 7.41 ERA)
CSU's Friday-night starter Evan Raynor is tied for third in the Big South lead with four wins through six starts. He's fifth in the Big South in ERA (1.80) and eighth in strikeouts (34 in 40.0 IP). The Bucs will face a stern test in Raynor's counterpart, RHP Travis Burnette (3-1). Burnette has won three of his last four starts and his only loss this season was at East Carolina.
CSU senior Sly Edwards' leads the Big South with a .426 average through 25 games and is second in the conference in on-base percentage (.505), hits (40), and triples (3).
Pitching continues to be CSU's strength. The Bucs are second in team ERA in the league with a 3.56 and lead the league in earned runs allowed (88), but despite the pitching success and holding teams down, CSU is just 5-14 this season when scoring five runs or less.