Buccaneers host USC Upstate in midweek matchup under the lights at the Ballpark

Buccaneers host USC Upstate in midweek matchup under the lights at the Ballpark

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern welcomes USC Upstate for Wednesday night lights at the Ballpark as CSU hosts the Spartans in a nine-inning midweek matchup. First pitch between the Bucs and the Spartans is set for 6 p.m.

Live Stats for the weekend series will be available at CSUSports.com, while in-game updates will be provided on Twitter: @CSUGameDay

Charleston Southern vs. USC Upstate Game Notes

Probable Pitching Matchup – Charleston Southern vs. USC Upstate
RHP Evan Nations (0-0, 6.75 ERA) vs. RHP Blake Whitney (0-1, 9.53 ERA)

Leading Off

  • Charleston Southern is 4-2 after the first two weekends of play at home as the Buccaneers bounced back from series-opening losses to take wins against Delaware State and VCU.
  • The Bucs open the season with their first 10 games at home before traveling to Florida International on March 9-11. Overall, CSU will host 29 games of the 54 game slate at the Ballpark with home series against Delaware State, VCU, Hofstra, Liberty, Gardner-Webb, Radford, Presbyterian and Air Force.
  • Wednesday night's contest between CSU and USC Upstate is the Buccaneers' first midweek matchup of the season. CSU was originally supposed to start midweek play this past week against Savannah State, but the contest against the Tigers was moved to May 3.
  • USC Upstate is the lone member of the Atlantic Sun Conference that the Buccaneers will face in the 2017 season. CSU hosts the Spartans on Wednesday, will travel to Spartanburg on March 21, and then close out the series in a neutral site matchup in Lexington, S.C. on March 28.
  • RHP Evan Nations draws his first start of the 2017 season on the rubber. The junior right-hander started nine games in the 2016 season and posted a 4.45 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched.
  • The Buccaneers bullpen shined on the weekend with Eddie Hiott and Ryan Stoudemire both taking advantage of appearances and posting perfect ERAs over the weekend. Hiott pitched the Bucs out of back-to-back bases-loaded jams on Sunday afternoon in the series finale against the Spartans, while Stoudemire recorded a win and a save over the weekend both CSU wins.

About the Spartans
USC Upstate was picked seventh overall in the Atlantic Sun baseball preseason poll announced ahead of the season. The Spartans received 16 points overall and are coming off of a season that included a 22-30 overall record and 5-15 mark in conference play. The Spartans' speed was of note in the 2016 season with Upstate leading the A-Sun in triples (22) on the season and return three of its top-five OPS leaders in Devon Ortiz (.923), Charlie Carpenter (.873) and J.J. Shimko (.756). The Spartan starting lineup will boast a number of fresh faces this season after losing 12 players with playing time this offseason. 

Buccaneers against USC Upstate
Charleston Southern as a program has a lifetime 6-8 record against the Spartans with the last matchup coming in 2016 with the Bucs splitting the season series. CSU took the matchup at home, 3-1, behind a quality start from Evan Nations with the then-sophomore going 6.0 innings and striking out four in the win. Cody Brittan led the Spartans in the rematch on April 20 in Spartanburg with Brittan supporting himself with a three-run home run in the win.

Last Out for USC Upstate
The Furman Paladins took advantage of three USC Upstate errors by scoring four unearned runs in a 7-4 win over the Spartans in a non-conference game at Harley Park on Tuesday afternoon. Jake Bourke led the way for Upstate with a 4-for-4 performance from the plate, while J.J. Shimko scored a pair of runs in the loss to the Paladins. Upstate left 13 runners on base and had the bases loaded in the fifth and ninth innings in the loss.

Last Weekend for Charleston Southern
Charleston Southern once again bounced back from a tough opening day to the weekend to take the series against Virginia Commonwealth at the CSU Ballpark. VCU scored six runs in the first two innings of the opening game of the series and recorded 21 hits in the contest on their way to taking the opener, 13-4. The Bucs rapped out 11 hits with five going for extra bases as CSU bounced back from Friday's series-opening defeat. CSU plated three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth, and five in the seventh to climb out of an early deficit to win 11-9. Charleston Southern jumped out to an early lead and the Buccaneers took advance of strong pitching performances by Nik Constantakos and Eddie Hiott in taking the finale against visiting VCU on Sunday afternoon, 4-2.

Bucs against the Atlantic Sun
Charleston Southern posted a 1-1 record against the Atlantic Sun in the 2016 season and 3-2 overall in the last two years as the Bucs have found split success against the A-Sun. The Bucs are 2-2 against USC Upstate with both wins coming at the CSU Ballpark. The Bucs won their matchup against North Florida at home on February 28, 2015, with a 13-inning 5-4 win over the Ospreys.