Bucs hit the road for midweek matchups at The Citadel and USC Upstate

Bucs hit the road for midweek matchups at The Citadel and USC Upstate

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern continues non-conference play on the road as the Buccaneers travel to The Citadel and to USC Upstate in midweek action. The Bucs travel to Riley Park on Tuesday night for a Lowcountry showdown against the Bulldogs with first pitch set for 6 p.m. Wednesday night's matchup against the Spartans is set for 6 p.m. at Harley Park.

Tuesday night's contest between CSU and The Citadel will be streamed live via the SoCon Digital Network. Live Stats for both games will be provided with links posted on the baseball schedule on CSUSports.com. Live updates for both games will also be provided on the CSU Game Day Twitter feed: @CSUGameDay

Projected Starters
Tuesday: RHP Corey Ireson (0-1, 3.09 ERA) vs. RHP Morgan Foulks (0-0, 13.00 ERA)
Wednesday: RHP Kyle Dyson (1-1, 5.67 ERA) vs. TBD

Leading Off

  • Charleston Southern's offense came to life over the past week as the Buccaneers hit .371 as a team over the five games. Eight starters hit over .300 on the week paced by Aaron Miller's .591 batting average from the plate to pace CSU.
  • Nate Blanchard (3), Aaron Miller (2), and Chris Singleton (2) all homered multiple times on the week for the CSU offense as a part of the Bucs' offensive onslaught over the past week.
  • Daniel Johnson and Tyler Weekley turned in dominant relief outings on the mound for the Bucs. Johnson struck out nine in 5.0 scoreless innings, while Weekley picked up the win on Saturday afternoon with four strikeouts over 5.2 innings while allowing three hits.
  • Aaron Miller and Kyle Vesnesky both enter the week with five-game hitting streaks after hitting safely in all five contests last week, while Chris Singleton became the fifth Buccaneer to record a double-digit on-base streak and enters Tuesday night's game at The Citadel on a 10-game streak.
  • Tuesday will be the second time the Bucs have taken on The Citadel in the 2017 season. CSU previously fell to the Bulldogs on April 4, 8-6.
  • The Bucs' game on Wednesday at USC Upstate will be the third time the teams have faced off against each other in the 2017 season. CSU and Upstate have split the series so far with CSU winning the opener, 4-3, on March 1. Upstate took the rematch on Mach 28 in Lexington, S.C., 10-4.

About the Bulldogs
The Citadel enters the Tuesday night matchup with an 11-22 overall record, 3-6 in Southern Conference play. The Bulldogs have found more success at home compared to road games with a 9-12 record at The Joe. The Bulldogs have dropped three of their last four contests with losses on the road to Winthrop and Samford (twice).

Last Out for The Citadel
The Citadel has dropped three of four on the road since their last contest against Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs fell to Winthrop on April 11, and then dropped two of three in SoCon play in Birmingham, Ala. against Samford. In the Bulldogs' lone win over Samford, The Citadel was paced by home runs from William Kinney and Joe Sabatini in the 8-6 victory.

Who to Watch For
Jonathan Sabo leads the Bulldog's hitting efforts on the season with a .313 batting average to go with 33 runs, eight doubles, seven home runs, and 22 RBI. Kinney is also among The Citadel's offensive leaders with 21 RBI and nine doubles, while also pacing the way with four stolen bases. Tuesday's projected starter Morgan Foulks has made seven appearances on the rubber and has posted a 13.00 ERA in 9.0 innings' pitched.

Last Time These Teams Met
The Citadel took advantage of a pair of Charleston Southern errors in the top of the seventh and held off a late CSU rally as the Buccaneers fell to the visiting Bulldogs at the CSU Ballpark, 8-6. Brandon Gragilla and Cole German both homered for the Bucs as CSU was unable to pick up the win in the Lowcountry rivalry against the Bulldogs. Jason Miller, Gragilla, and Chris Singleton all finished the night with two hits apiece for the Bucs.

About the Spartans
USC Upstate travels to UNC Asheville on Tuesday night before returning home to Spartanburg on Wednesday to host the Buccaneers. The Spartans enter the week with a 16-22 overall record and 2-7 mark in Atlantic Sun play on the season. USC Upstate has posted a 13-15 record at home in Harley Park on the season.

Last Out for USC Upstate
USC Upstate went 2-2 this past week with a midweek victory at Furman before dropping two of three at Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers, Fla. this weekend. The Spartans topped FGCU on Friday, 3-1, behind a strong pitching performance from junior Kevin Hickey who went 7.2 innings while allowing one unearned run.

Who to Watch For
Charlie Carpenter paces the Upstate offensive efforts with a .349 batting average with a team-high 52 hits, six home runs, and 29 RBI. Russel Schwertfeger provides the speed on the base paths with a team-high four triples and eight stolen bases. J.J. Shimko has 28 RBI from the plate and a team-high 12 doubles on the season.

Last Time These Teams Met
Defensive miscues came back to haunt Charleston Southern on Tuesday night in Lexington County Baseball Stadium as the Buccaneers fell in their midweek matchup against USC Upstate, 10-4. CSU's defense struggled on the night with five errors, three coming in the top of the sixth that led to four Upstate runs as the Spartans tied up the season series against CSU.

Big South Leaders
Charleston Southern's bats coming to life over the past two weeks have put the Bucs atop the Big South batting standings on the season. The Bucs are hitting .279 as a team this season through 35 games and hold a 10-point advantage over Campbell (.269) and Gardner-Webb (.268). CSU has been paced by strong efforts at the plate by Jason Miller (.345), Aaron Miller (.327), Brandon Gragilla (.308), and Nate Blanchard (.308) on the season.

Can't Touch This
The Charleston Southern pitching staff has also showcased the power arms on the staff as the Bucs sit second overall in total strikeouts (325) and lead the Big South in strikeouts looking (95) on the season. Nik Constantakos leads the Bucs with 51 strikeouts on the season, while the duo of Cody Maw (21) and Constantakos (20) lead the conference in strikeouts looking on the year.

Scoring Threats
Thanks to CSU's offensive recent offensive explosion, Chris Singleton and Nate Blanchard have entered the top 10 in the Big South Conference on the season in runs scored. Singleton is second overall in the Big South standings with 31 runs scored, while Blanchard is currently tied for seventh overall after touching the plate 29 times.

Doubling Up
Brandon Gragilla's recent gaps power has put the senior designated hitter among the conference leaders in doubles on the season. Gragilla has connected on four doubles in the past five games to sit second in the conference standings with 13 doubles on the year. Gragilla trails only Campbell's Matthew Barefoot (14) in the category.

He Doesn't Strike Out
Mike Sconzo is the toughest man to strike out in the Big South Conference in the 2017 season as the junior catcher averaged only 0.29 strikeouts per game. He has been retired on strikes only 10 times in 136 at-bats and has posted a .287 batting average in 34 games on the season.

Big South Conference K-Men
Charleston Southern leads the conference in strikeouts by a wide margin in the 2017 season as the Buccaneers have retired 163 strikeouts on the year. Longwood (118) and High Point (114) are second and third respectively on the season in team strikeouts. Daniel Johnson (37) leads the Big South in strikeouts in conference play, while Nik Constantakos (30, 4th) and Kyle Dyson (24, 10th) are both in the top 10 in the category.

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