BSB Preview: Buccaneers travel to Columbia for Weekend Series with South Carolina

BSB Preview: Buccaneers travel to Columbia for Weekend Series with South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern continues their non-conference slate this weekend with a weekend series in Columbia, S.C. The Buccaneers travel to face South Carolina on Friday with first pitch set at 4 p.m. in the first matchup in a three-game series with the Gamecocks. Saturday's first pitch is set for 2 p.m. followed by a 1:30 p.m. start on Sunday.

Live Stats, Audio, and the SEC Network+ links for the weekend can be found at GamecocksOnline.com. As always, all links are also posted on CSUSports.com on the baseball schedule.

Charleston Southern @ South Carolina Weekend Notes

Probable Pitching Matchups – Charleston Southern @ South Carolina
Friday, 4 p.m. – RHP Nik Constantakos  (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. RHP Adam Hill (0-1, 15.75 ERA)
Saturday, 2 p.m. – RHP Ryan Stoudemire (0-1, 7.71 ERA) vs. RHP Cody Morris (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
Sunday, 1:30 p.m. – RHP Tyler Weekley (0-1, 1.50 ERA) vs. RHP Ridge Chapman (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Leading Off 

  • Charleston Southern pitchers have picked up where they left off in the 2017 season. CSU pitchers tallied 23 double-digit strikeout games in 2017. This season, they've thrown double-digit strikeouts in each of their first four games.
  • Newcomers have been the key to the Buccaneers' offense so far. Ryan Risk leads the team in RBIs (3), with Josh Litchfield (2) and Christian Maggio (2) tied for second.
  • Nik Constantakos will be CSU's Friday starter on the mound.. Constantakos finished 2017 tied for the most starts on the team (13) and led the Bucs in IP/appearance (4.92) and strikeouts looking (28). In his first outing, he got a win with five innings, one walk, and seven strikeouts. 
  • Jason Miller makes the shift from third base to second in the 2018 season. Miller returned as the Bucs' leading hitter at the plate, and has continued through the first week with a .438 average and a .550 on base percentage.
  • Former CSU Head Coach Stuart Lake will be facing his former team for the first time as a South Carolina coach. Lake served as the Gamecock's Coordinator of Baseball Administration and Director of Player Development in 2017, but is an assistant coach this year.
  • This weekend will end a four game road trip for the Bucs. After this, they'll play their next 10 games in Charleston, with two games at the Citadel.

Buccaneers against South Carolina
CSU is 14-67 all-time against the Gamecocks in program history. The last CSU win over USC came in the 2014 season when the Bucs picked up the 4-1 win over the Gamecocks behind a strong pitching performance by Joe Pistacchio and Denis Buckley. USC swept the last weekend series in the 2016 season against the Bucs on March 11-13.

About the Gamecocks
The Gamecocks begin a new era in 2018 as Mark Kingston takes the helm. Kingston joins the Gamecocks from the University of South Florida where he lead the Bulls to two NCAA regional appearances in three years. He has South Carolina out to a 4-1 start while displaying a strong hitting core. The team is averaging 10.4 runs per game through their first five games.

Last out for USC
South Carolina faced off against Winthrop and had no trouble, topping the Eagles 15-2 on Wednesday. LT Tolbert (3-for-4) and Justin Row (3-for-3) combined for six hits, six RBIs, and three runs scored.

Bucs against the SEC
Charleston Southern will face off against two SEC teams in 2018. The Bucs face South Carolina this weekend and will later play a home and home with Georgia. CSU will host Georgia on Monday, March 5. The Bucs will travel to Georgia in a return trip on Tuesday, March 27. The Bucs dropped their only SEC game in 2017, losing 3-0 to South Carolina.

Bucs tabbed to finish Eighth in the Big South Preseason Poll
Charleston Southern was selected eighth overall in the Big South Conference Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Buccaneers received 35 votes overall in the poll, including one vote for second place. Winthrop University has been voted the Big South Conference's preseason baseball favorite by the league's head coaches. Liberty's junior outfielder D.J. Artis was voted the Conference's Preseason Player of the Year. Artis was recently named a Preseason All-American by D1Baseball.com. Additionally, Winthrop junior Nate Pawelczyk was voted the league's Preseason Pitcher of the Year.