CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern continues 2017 play this week with a neutral site match-up on Tuesday night against North Greenville and opens up Big South Conference competition on Wednesday against Winthrop as the Buccaneers move into conference play.
Tuesday night's contest against the Crusaders will be held in Lexington County Stadium in Lexington, S.C. with first pitch set for 6 p.m. Wednesday night's conference opener against the Eagles is set for a 6 p.m. start time at the CSU Ballpark.
Links for live stats for both games will be available at CSUSports.com. Live updates will be available on CSU's twitter feed: @CSUGameDay
- Charleston Southern picked up the win in the series finale against FIU this weekend as the Buccaneers improved to 9-4 early in the season. The last time CSU got off to a similar was the 2014 season when the Bucs were 10-3 at this point on their way to a school-record 30 Division I wins and a 20-12 record at home in the Ballpark.
- The pair of losses to open the series against FIU snapped a six-game winning streak for the Buccaneers that spanned February 25-March 5 with the Bucs topping VCU (twice), USC Upstate, and Hofstra (three times) during the span.
- CSU's home game against Winthrop on Wednesday is the only game at home for the Bucs during a 10 game stretch. The Bucs will be away from the Ballpark from March 17-22 with a three-game series at Longwood this weekend, a road trip to USC Upstate, and a road contest at South Carolina before returning home for a three-game series against Liberty.
- Brandon Gragilla continued his hot start to the 2017 season as the senior designated player sits atop the Big South rankings in on-base percentage (.521). He led the Bucs with a .545 batting average and a .615 on-base percentage on the weekend against FIU.
- Freshman right-handed reliever Ryan Stoudemire picked up his Big South-leading third win of the season on the mound this weekend with the Pomaria, S.C. native receiving the victory in the Bucs' 6-5 win on Saturday afternoon against FIU.
- Jason Miller continues to come up big in clutch situations for the Bucs in the 2017 season with the redshirt sophomore infielder connecting on the game-winning single on Saturday afternoon against the Panthers. His one-out single to right field drove in Kyle Vesnesky and Nate Blanchard to give the Bucs the go-ahead runs in their eventual win.
- Freshman right-hander Nik Constantakos recorded a season-high eight strikeouts in his Saturday start against FIU, tying Cody Maw's season-high that was also set this weekend on Friday night against the Panthers.
About the Crusaders
North Greenville is the lone Division II team the Buccaneers will face in the 2017 season. The Crusaders enter the contest on a five-game winning streak and post a 20-5 overall record on the season, including a 3-1 record in neutral site games. NGU was picked fourth in the Conference Carolinas preseason poll with 66 points and a first place vote. The Crusaders finished the 2016 season with a 35-16 record and a 21-6 mark in conference games.
Buccaneers against North Greenville
The Crusaders took the matchup last season in Lexington with a 6-2 final score. The Crusaders were paced by a three-run home run off the bat of David Houser, while Chris Singleton recorded a pair of hits for the Bucs in the contest.
Last Out for North Greenville
The Crusaders are coming off of a three-game sweep against Emmanuel College with NGU recording an 11-4 win, a 9-7 victory, and a 17-4 win with the bats coming to life in the series finale. Prior to the series sweep, North Greenville took a pair of wins in the Wednesday doubleheader against Miles College in Tigerville, S.C.
Who to Watch For
Josh Black leads a multitude of Crusaders who are excelling at the plate in the 2017 season with a .459 batting average as North Greenville is hitting .302 as a team. Clark Scolamiero is the primary threat to watch from the plate with a team-high 34 hits, nine doubles, 30 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. Nathaniel Maggio is the power threat in the lineup with a team-high six home runs and 27 RBI.
About the Eagles
Winthrop enters the contest on a two-game winning streak after taking both ends of the Saturday doubleheader against visiting Canisius. The streak bumped the Eagles up to a 7-8 record in the 2017 season and a strong 5-1 record at home on the year. Winthrop was picked fourth overall in the Big South Conference preseason poll with the Eagles receiving 63 votes. The Eagles will take on The Citadel on Tuesday afternoon prior to playing the Bucs on Wednesday.
Buccaneers against Winthrop
Winthrop holds the 58-34 all-time advantage over the Buccaneers in program history with the Eagles taking two of three from the Bucs last season in Rock Hill. CSU took the middle game of the series against WU with Bryan Dye providing the punch from the plate with a 5-for-5 performance with two home runs and seven RBI in the 17-5 win.
Last Out for Winthrop
Winthrop won a pair of one-run ballgames against Canisius in Saturday's doubleheader to take the series over the visiting Golden Griffins. The pair of wins came after a Friday setback that saw Canisius take the opener, 9-5. Prior to the series, Winthrop fell in a midweek matchup at South Carolina, 8-6.
Who to Watch For
Mitch Spires leads the Eagles with a .386 batting average on the season and leads WU with a pair of triples on the year. Hunter Lipscomb has provided the power from the plate with three home runs and a team-high 15 RBI.