Bucs prepare for Big South weekend series with Gardner-Webb starting Thursday night

Bucs prepare for Big South weekend series with Gardner-Webb starting Thursday night

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern is back in Big South Conference play tonight as the Buccaneers host Gardner-Webb in a three-game series starting tonight at the CSU Ballpark. First pitch in Thursday night's opener is set for 6 p.m. Friday's game is slated for 4 p.m., while Saturday's series finale is projected for a 2 p.m. first pitch.

Live Stats for all three games will be available on CSUSports.com, while in-game updates will be provided on the CSU Game Day Twitter account: @CSUGameDay.

Projected Starters
Thursday: RHP Nik Constantakos (3-1, 3.92 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Mosay (4-3, 4.47 ERA)
Friday: RHP Kyle Dyson (0-1, 5.52 ERA) vs. RHP Bradley Hallman (3-2, 2.24 ERA)
Saturday: TBD vs. RHP Landon Mitchell (3-2, 7.62 ERA)

Leading Off

  • Charleston Southern picked up its first Big South Conference series win last weekend taking two of the three games from UNC Asheville to improve to 5-7 in conference play. It was the Bucs' first conference series win of the season and first since the 2015 season when CSU swept Gardner-Webb on April 10-12 at the CSU Ballpark.
  • Charleston Southern freshman first baseman Aaron Miller was named the Come Ready Nutrition Big South Freshman of the Week after leading the Buccaneers' offense in the series win over UNC Asheville. Miller had a game for the ages on Saturday afternoon as the freshman first baseman connected on a pair of home runs, scored four times, and drove in eight RBI in CSU's 19-3 win over UNC Asheville.
  • The Bucs are coming off of back-to-back setbacks during midweek play with an extra-inning loss to No. 4 Clemson on Tuesday night, and a 13-5 loss on Wednesday evening at home against CofC. Overall, the Bucs have hit a bit of a skid since their strong start with a 2-6 record over their past 10 games.
  • CSU is back at .500 for the first time since the second weekend of the season following their loss to the Cougars on Wednesday night. The Bucs rebounded from the stretch at the start of the year with a six-game winning streak the led to CSU receiving votes in two of the major collegiate baseball polls.
  • Cody Maw and the Bucs nearly handed Clemson the loss on Tuesday night with the junior left-hander going 6.2 innings and allowing eight hits and four runs while striking out two. It was Maw's first start since March 24 against Liberty as the lefty has emerged as one of CSU's relief aces from the bullpen.

About the Runnin' Bulldogs
Gardner-Webb enters the weekend series with a 16-16 overall mark, 5-4 in Big South Conference play. The Runnin' Bulldogs took all three games this past weekend against Longwood for their first weekend sweep of the season. GWU has won four of their past five contests and will be coming off of nearly a week break since their last game when they enter the Thursday night contest against the Bucs.

Last Out for GWU
Gardner-Webb swept the series against the visiting Lancers this past weekend winning 4-2, 4-3, and 7-2, to complete the three-game sweep. The Runnin' Bulldogs scored six unanswered runs in the series finale to cap a stretch that saw GWU come from behind in all three contests to take the series win. Chandler Redmond provided late game heroics for the host institution on Saturday afternoon with the walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th to highlight the weekend.

Who to Watch For
Second baseman Collin Thacker was named a Preseason All-American and was the Preseason Big South Player of the Year as voted on by the head coaches around the league. He has lived up to the hype this season and leads the Runnin' Bulldogs with a .389 batting average with a team-high 49 hits, 12 doubles, and 29 RBI. Danny Sullivan has provided power from the plate for GWU with a team-high 10 home runs.

On the mound, Bradley Hallman has been a consistent arm on the rubber with a team-best 2.24 ERA and a 39:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Zach Mosay leads the team with four wins on the year, while bullpen ace Wil Sellers leads the team with five saves.

Clemson Walk-Off leads Tigers past Bucs in midweek play
Andrew Cox connected on a bases-loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to help No. 4 Clemson hold off a midweek challenge from Charleston Southern on Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, 6-5.

The Bucs utilized a four-run fourth inning to hold the lead throughout the majority of the contest. Clemson battled back with a three-run home run off the bat of Logan Davidson in the sixth inning and a Chris Williams' sacrifice fly in the ninth before Cox's walk-off sealed the comeback in the 11th.

Power Bats Lead College of Charleston to win in Lowcountry matchup
College of Charleston's power bats led the way on Wednesday night as Charleston Southern fell in the matchup between the Lowcountry rivals at the CSU Ballpark, 13-5. The Cougars connected on a season-high five home runs with two coming off the bat of Erven Roper to take the first matchup between the teams in the 2017 season.

Chris Singleton connected on his third home run of the season to pace the CSU offense on the night, while Kyle Vesnesky turned in a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a double. Nate Blanchard, Aaron Miller, Cole German, and Alex Andronica also added multi-hit performances in the loss.

Big South Shape-Up
Liberty currently leads the Big South standings on the season with a 7-2 mark in Big South Conference play. Presbyterian is second overall with a 6-3 mark. Three teams are tied at 5-4 in conference action, while UNC Asheville is alone in sixth with a 4-5 mark. The Bucs and High Point are tied for seventh with a 5-7 record, while Radford and Longwood are tied for ninth with a 3-6 mark.

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