CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern returns to the diamond after an exam break to face preseason favorite and current No. 1 seeded Campbell beginning the final month of the regular season.
The Buccaneers and Camels each had the past weekend off for exams as both last took the field April 23 in the midweek. Friday's contest begins a stretch of 11 games over the final 16 days of the season for CSU as they have a chance to lock themselves into a spot of the Big South Championships at the end of the month as well as take a series from Campbell – something no other Big South team has been able to do this season.
Campbell has taken the last two series meetings, but the Bucs have enjoyed success at Jim Perry Stadium since the Camels returned to the Big South Conference in 2011-12. Since then, CSU has taken five of the nine games played in Buies Creek including a three-game sweep during the 2015 campaign. The weekend set is the first meeting between the teams in 2019 after they opened conference play head-to-head in 2018 with Campbell eventually claiming the regular season and tournament titles.
- Campbell has recently taken the lead on the all-time series advantage with last season's sweep and a five-game win streak dating back to the 2017 season. The Camels have also taken seven of the 13 games since rejoining the Big South Conference prior to the 2012 season.
- In that time frame, the Bucs have fared well in Buies Creek taking five of nine games and sweeping a set in the 2015 campaign by scores of 5-3, 9-5 and 3-2. However, the Camels have taken both series at CSU Ballpark and all three Big South Tournament meetings between 2013-15.
- The 2018 series at CSU Ballpark saw the eventual champion Camels take all three games with two coming in one-run fashion. Both contests saw an early CSU lead before Campbell scored late runs to steal a 4-3 Friday win and 6-5 decision Sunday. Current senior Tyler Weekley tossed 5.0 innings of one-run ball for a no-decision striking out five and allowing just three hits.
- Both Josh Litchfield and Ryan Rizk stole bases in the losses and Derek Horton went yard. In the Sunday finale, Asbill paced the Buccaneer offense with a two-hit performance while scoring a run.
Scouting the Camels
- In the three series the Camels took two of three, they fell in the Friday opener before winning Saturday and Sunday. UNC Asheville shut down the Camels' high-powered offense in their first league loss then Gardner-Webb outslugged Campbell 9-8 and Radford stole a 6-2 decision.
- Outside of their three losses on Friday, the Camels have been dominant on their way to a 13-4 record looking to repeat as league champions.
- Big South Preseason Player of the Year Matthew Barefoot leads the Camels in the power category batting .306 with eight longballs and 34 RBI's while slugging a team-high .561 and is 19-of-24 stealing bases. Barefoot is joined in the .300 batting average ranks by Luis Gimenez and Collin Wolf - who both hit .331 and driven-in 30-plus runs.
- All three weekend starters for the Camels - Ryan Chasse, Michael Horrell and Seth Johnson - have a sub-4.00 ERA with Chasse and Horrell both sub-3.00. Horrell has the lone complete game on staff tossing 55.2 innings and striking out 50 batters while surrendering just 10 walks. Each has been susceptible to the long ball at points in time each allowing four-plus, but have kept opponents' below .250 and throwing at least 48.0 innings.
A Series Win Would…
- Give the Bucs three-straight Big South series wins after taking two of three from both Gardner-Webb and UNC Asheville.
- Push the Bucs one step closer to locking themselves into the Big South Championships in Fayetteville.
- Hand the Camels their first Big South series loss of the season after sweeping two and taking two of three in three other weekend sets.
- Give the Bucs a winning record to begin the month of May with just eight games left on the regular season docket.