CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern baseball continues midweek non-conference action this week as the Buccaneers welcome The Citadel to the CSU Ballpark on Tuesday night. CSU will travel to Winthrop on Wednesday night for a non-conference matchup at the Winthrop Ballpark. First pitch for both games is set for 6 p.m.
Tuesday night's game against The Citadel will be streamed live via the Big South Network. Both Tuesday and Wednesday night's games will have live stats with the links available on the CSU Baseball schedule online. Both games will also have live updates via the CSU Game Day Twitter account: @CSUGameDay
- Charleston Southern junior left-hander Daniel Johnson was recognized as one of the Co-Pitchers of the Week by the Big South Conference for the games played March 27-April 2, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
- Johnson paced Charleston Southern's pitching efforts on the week with 7.1 innings pitched in relief for the Bucs against both Savannah State and Campbell. Johnson allowed four hits on the week while striking out 15 in recording a 1-0 record against the Tigers and the Camels.
- Constantakos recorded his third quality start of the 2017 season as the freshman right-hander continues to impress in his first collegiate season. The Jupiter, Fla. native is the lone pitcher on the staff with multiple quality starts in the season and with his six strikeouts on Friday night, recorded his fourth game with at least six strikeouts in 2017.
- The Bucs weekend was a mirror image in reverse of how CSU has been playing this season. CSU snapped a five-game skid on Friday nights with their first win of the season on the final day of the work week in the series opener. However, CSU had its Sunday streak snapped this afternoon after recording a perfect 6-0 run on Sundays in 2017.
- Cody Maw shined in the relief role on Saturday afternoon and struck out seven of the nine batters he faced against the Camels. It was fifth time this season a Buccaneer pitcher had struck out the side in 2017 and the fourth time this year a CSU pitcher has struck out the first three batters he's faced in a game.
- Mike Sconzo's bat is continuing to heat up as the junior catcher recorded fourth consecutive two-hit game last weekend to lead the Bucs' batting efforts last week. Sconzo has started all 26 games at catcher for the Bucs in 2017 and has seven multi-hit games on the season.
About the Bulldogs
The Citadel enters the midweek match-up with a 9-19 overall record in the 2017 season and are on a four-game losing streak after dropping all three games of the weekend series against Western Carolina. The Bulldogs streak started with a loss against No. 4 South Carolina and The Citadel has lost five of the last six games on the schedule.
Recapping 2016 against The Citadel
Last season the Bucs and Bulldogs split the series in a tale of two different ballgames. Citadel took the opener on March 29 in a tough-fought 4-3 contest that went 12 innings before the Bulldogs' Drew Ellis connected on the game-winning RBI double. The Bucs responded with an 18-1 victory on April 5 with CSU scoring 10 runs in the first inning on the way to the seven-inning win.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Jonathan Sabo leads The Citadel's batting efforts in the 2017 season with a .333 batting average and a team-high six home runs. Sabo also leads the Bulldogs in runs (26), hits (38), and RBI (19). Joe Sabatini (5) and Barrett Charpia (5) are also among the Bulldogs' home run leaders on the season. Projected starter Alex Bialakis has a 0-2 record with four starts and six appearances on the season.
Citadel against the Big South
The Citadel is 2-1 on the season against Big South Conference schools. The Bulldogs fell to Liberty, 9-1, on the opening weekend of the season, but followed that two weeks later with a 9-8 win over Presbyterian at Riley Park. The Bulldogs had their most complete effort of the season on March 14 against Winthrop with a 34-8 victory over the Eagles.
About the Eagles
Winthrop currently leads the Big South with a 5-1 record in conference play and the Eagles (15-13) are one of three teams in the conference with a winning record joining Liberty (16-10) and Charleston Southern (14-12) with winning records on the season. The Eagles travel to Charlotte on Tuesday night before hosting Charleston Southern on Wednesday night. Winthrop took two of three at Creighton this weekend to win the series.
Recapping the Bucs-Eagles – Round One
Tyler Weekley turned in a strong start for the Buccaneers and the combination of Wil Hartsell, Eddie Hiott, and Cody Smith completed the job for Charleston Southern on Wednesday afternoon as CSU took the 4-2 win over Winthrop on March 15.
Weekley went 5.1 innings in his first start of the season and was in control throughout the afternoon allowing six hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out five in the contest. Hartsell excelled in the relief outing with the junior retiring the first four batters he faced on strikes. Hiott also retired four in a row before turning the ball over to Smith who retired the Eagles in order to close out the contest.
The Bucs' bats came to life with seven of the nine batters in the starting lineup recording hits against the Winthrop pitching staff. Nate Blanchard, Brandon Gragilla, and Cole German all recorded two hits apiece in the contest with German connecting on the go-ahead RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth.
Scouting the Eagles
Mitch Spires leads the Winthrop offense with a .404 batting average of the season. Spires has posted team-highs in runs (25), hits (38), and triples (2) on the season. Babe Thomas leads the Eagles with a team-high four home runs, while Hunter Lipscomb has a team-high 28 RBI on the season. The Bucs faced off against Zack Peek in their first go-round, while Thad Harris suffered the loss in relief.
Big South Co-Pitcher of the Week
Charleston Southern junior left-hander Daniel Johnson was recognized as one of the Co-Pitchers of the Week by the Big South Conference for the games played March 27-April 2, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
Johnson paced Charleston Southern's pitching efforts on the week with 7.1 innings pitched in relief for the Bucs against both Savannah State and Campbell. Johnson allowed four hits on the week while striking out 15 in recording a 1-0 record against the Tigers and the Camels.
The junior relief ace picked up the win on Wednesday evening against Savannah State with five strikeouts over 2.1 innings' work to quell a Savannah State rally. He followed up with 10 strikeouts in five innings' work, striking out a trio of Campbell hitters in both the fourth and sixth innings to give the Bucs a chance in the series finale.
Johnson has struck out 25 batters in his last 12.1 innings' worth of work and is currently third on the team overall in strikeouts in the 2017 season.
Streaks to Watch
- Nate Blanchard enters the week with a team-best eight game on-base streak. The streak is his longest of the season and the longest for the Bucs at the moment as Jason Miller (16) and Kyle Vesnesky (13) both saw their respective streaks come to an end on Saturday.
- Brandon Gragilla and Nate Blanchard are both tied for the longest current hitting streak for CSU. The senior duo has both hit safely in each of the last three games.
- Nate Blanchard (10) and Jason Miller (9) have the most multi-hit games of the season for CSU.
- Brandon Gragilla (6) and Nate Blanchard (5) have the most multi-RBI games of the season for the Bucs.
- Catcher Mike Sconzo, second baseman Nate Blanchard, and centerfielder Chris Singleton are the lone Bucs to start all 26 games at their respective positions in the 2017 season.
Big South Leaders
- Brandon Gragilla is tied for third in the Big South with nine doubles
- Chris Singleton is fifth in the Big South in stolen bases with 10
- Mike Sconzo (0.38) is one of the toughest batters in the conference to strike out, trailing only Gardner-Webb's Corey Howard (0.31) on the season
- Cody Maw leads the Big South in batters struck out looking with 16
- Cody Smith leads the Big South in saves (6) and games finished (11)
- As a pitching staff, CSU is third in the conference with 227 strikeouts
- The Bucs lead the Big South in batters struck out looking with 67
- In conference play, Daniel Johnson is the Big South strikeout leader with 20 on the season