Buccaneers continue conference slate with weekend series at High Point

Buccaneers continue conference slate with weekend series at High Point

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern continues Big South Conference play this weekend as the Buccaneers travel to Williard Stadium and High Point University for a three-game slate scheduled to start Friday night at 6 p.m. Saturday's contest will also begin at 6 p.m., while Sunday afternoon's series finale is set for 2 p.m.

All three games will be streamed live on the Big South Network, while Live Stats will be provided on the links posted on the CSU baseball schedule. Updates will also be provided on the CSU Game Day Twitter account: @CSUGameDay

CSU Weekend Notes vs. High Point

Weekend Probable Starters
Friday: RHP Tyler Weekley (3-2, 3.77 ERA) vs. RHP Andrew Gottfried (2-2, 4.03 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Nik Constantakos (3-2, 4.24 ERA) vs. RHP Drew Daczkowski (4-3, 3.27 ERA)
Sunday: TBD vs. RHP Trevor Holloway (3-4, 3.81 ERA)

Leading Off

  • Charleston Southern enters the weekend on a four-game winning streak after sweeping the weekend series against Radford and topping Wofford in their midweek matchup on April 25 in Lexington, S.C.
  • It's the Bucs' second-longest winning streak of the 2017 season and longest stretch since CSU won six in a row back on February 25 – March 5 with back-to-back wins over VCU (two), a midweek victory over USC Upstate, and a weekend sweep over Hofstra.
  • Charleston Southern's sweep over Radford two weekends ago was CSU's first conference home sweep since the 2015 season when the Bucs took three from Gardner-Webb at the CSU Ballpark on April 10-12.
  • The Bucs' bullpen was dominant on the week as CSU's relief staff went 29.2 innings and allowed just seven earned runs and nine walks while striking out 37 batters in games against USC Upstate, Radford, and The Citadel
  • Against Wofford last Tuesday, the Bucs' bullpen staff went one better as eight pitchers combined for a season-high 17 strikeouts with Evan Nations (2nd), Wil Hartsell (8th), and Cody Smith (9th) each striking out the side in their frames in CSU's 5-2 win over Wofford.
  • The Bucs are currently in a three-way tie for fourth place overall in the conference standings heading into the week. CSU is 9-9 in Big South play on the year and tied with High Point and Gardner-Webb. The Bucs travel to High Point this weekend for a conference series.

About High Point
High Point has posted a 22-18 overall record in the 2017 season and a 9-9 record in Big South Conference play on the year. The Panthers have posted a 12-8 record at the Williard Stadium, but enter the weekend coming off of a loss at UNC Wilmington on Wednesday night. The Panthers took two of three from Presbyterian this past weekend in Clinton, S.C. to move back to .500 in conference play.

Who to Watch For
Blake Schunk leads the Panthers with a .356 batting average and a team-high 11 doubles on the season with 28 starts in 33 games played. Austen Zente leads the team in home runs (eight), RBI (30) and runs scored (32) on the year. Josh Greene leads the team with 17 stolen bases on the year. Drew Daczkowski leads the Panthers with a 56:24 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 3.27 ERA to pace the weekend staff. Matt Hodges is the top HPU reliever on the season with a 5-1 record and a 2.48 ERA to go with four saves.

Last Out for High Point
The High Point University baseball team fell on the road by a score of 7-3 at UNC Wilmington on Wednesday night in Wilmington, N.C. Josh Greene went 2-for-3 with a run scored for the Panthers in the loss. Jordan Sergent took the loss on the mound pitching three innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits and a walk while striking out one.

Bucs-Panthers (2014 Edition)
It's been three seasons since Charleston Southern and High Point have been on the field together with the Panthers making the trip to the CSU Ballpark on April 4-5, 2014. The Panthers took all three contests against the Bucs, winning 6-1, on Friday. HPU followed up with a pair of wins in Saturday's doubleheader, 6-4 and 10-9, to sweep the series.

Big South Leaders
harleston Southern's bats have put the Bucs atop the Big South batting standings on the season. The Bucs are hitting .273 as a team this season through 41 games and currently are even with Liberty (.273), while leading Winthrop (.272), Gardner-Webb (.265) and Campbell (.264). CSU has been paced by strong efforts at the plate by Jason Miller (.345, 6th) as the redshirt sophomore infielder sits among the conference leaders on the year.

NCAA Leaderboard
The Bucs' pitching staff continues to rank among the nation's best this season as CSU currently sits 10th overall in strikeouts per nine innings and 14th in strikeout-to-walk ratio on the season. As a staff, CSU averages striking out 9.6 batters per frame, while CSU's control rates among the leaders with a 2.98 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the year.

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 (391) and second in the Big South in strikeouts looking (112) on the season. Nik Constantakos leads the Bucs with 56 strikeouts on the season, while the duo of Cody Maw (21, 3rd) and Constantakos (20, 4th) lead the conference in strikeouts looking on the year.

Scoring Threats
Thanks to CSU's offensive explosion, Chris Singleton and Nate Blanchard have entered the top 10 in the Big South Conference on the season in runs scored. Blanchard leads the Bucs and is fifth in the conference with 31 runs. Chris Singleton is seventh in the conference with 34 runs scored on the season.

Doubling Up
Brandon Gragilla's performance at the plate has put the senior designated hitter among the conference leaders in doubles on the season. Gragilla has connected on four doubles in the past seven games to sit second in the conference standings with 13 doubles on the year. Gragilla trails only Campbell's Matthew Barefoot (20) 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 averages striking out once every 11.3 at-bats. He has been retired on strikes only 14 times in 158 at-bats and has posted a .285 batting average in 40 games on the season.

Big South Conference K-Men
The Charleston Southern pitching staff leads the conference in strikeouts in Big South games by a wide margin in the 2017 season as the Buccaneers have recorded 196 strikeouts on the year. Longwood (179) and High Point (138) are second and third respectively on the season in team strikeouts. Daniel Johnson (42) is second in the Big South in strikeouts in conference play, while Nik Constantakos (35, 7th) is also in the top 10 in the category.

Control Freaks
Charleston Southern's pitching staff's control is among the best in the NCAA in the 2017 season as the Bucs sit 14th nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio on the season. Only four Bucs' pitchers have walked more than 10 batters on the season, while 12 different pitchers have recorded double-digit strikeouts on the year. Nik Constantakos has walked one batter in his last four starts, while Tyler Weekley has walked one in his last three appearances to pace the Bucs heading into the weekend.

Can't Keep Them Off the Bases
Aaron Miller became the sixth CSU player to record a double-digit on-base streak this season. The CSU freshman first baseman enters the weekend on a seven-game hitting streak and an 11-game on-base streak, both tops on the team at the moment. Mike Sconzo became the first Buccaneer to piece together a second double-digit on-base streak this season and enters the weekend reaching base in his past 13 games.

Hits Galore
Opposing conference pitching staffs have been unable to keep Jason Miller off the base paths in the 2017 season as the redshirt sophomore infielder leads the Big South with 31 hits in conference play heading into the season. Miller leads the Bucs with both the longest hitting streak (9) and on-base streak (16) in the 2017 season to pace CSU in both categories.

No One Scores
Daniel Johnson has been a consistent force on the mound for CSU in Big South Conference play in the 2017 season with the junior left-hander pacing the Bucs and the Big South in ERA in conference competition. Johnson has posted a 0.79 ERA on the season in conference competition while boasting an impressive 42:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22.2 innings' pitched. Opponents are only hitting .188 against Johnson in conference play.

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