ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The Charleston Southern bats struck early and often as the Buccaneers took the series opener from host UNC Asheville on Friday night at Greenwood Field, 10-3.
CSU (15-12, 4-5) sent all nine batters to the plate in the first inning and Jason Miller and Chris Singleton both homered for the Bucs as CSU rapped out a season-high 17 hits in taking the conference series opener.
Nik Constantakos (3-1) picked up his third win of the season after recording a season-high nine strikeouts in 5.0 innings against the Bulldogs. Constantakos surrendered eight hits and three runs in the winning effort. Corey Ireson struck out six in three innings' relief, including retiring the side on strikes in the eighth inning, while Adam Andrew pitched around a Bulldog single in the ninth to close out the ballgame.
Seven Buccaneers recorded multiple hits in the contest paced by Mike Sconzo's 3-for-4 day from the plate. Miller added a triple to go with his first home run of the season, while Nate Blanchard (twice) and Cole German both doubled for the Bucs.
Brandon Harris (3-3) suffered the loss for Asheville (12-17, 3-4) after surrendering five hits and five runs in the first inning. Overall, the Bulldogs utilized six pitchers on the mound on Friday night in the losing effort.
Miller wasted little time in putting the Bucs on the board in the top of the first inning as the redshirt sophomore second baseman connected on a 0-2 pitch and drove the ball out of the park scoring Nate Blanchard and Kyle Vesnesky to give CSU the early 3-0 lead. German added a two-run double later in the frame scoring Cody Smith and Sconzo to give CSU the five-run advantage early.
Danny Wilson put the first Asheville run on the board in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single to left field scoring Joe Tietjen.
Miller added to the CSU lead in the top of the second with a sacrifice fly scoring Blanchard, while the Bulldogs pushed across their second run of the game in the bottom half of the frame on an Andrew Friedholm RBI double.
Singleton put two more on the scoreboard for the Bucs in the top of the third as the CSU centerfielder followed Sconzo's lead-off single with a two-run shot to centerfield. It was his second home run of the season and gave the Bucs the 8-2 lead.
Wilson answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the third to put the Bulldogs in the crooked column in the frame.
Sconzo put CSU's ninth run of the contest on the scoreboard with a one-out sacrifice fly scoring Miller. Miller reached on a lead-off triple down the right field line before coming across the plate for the second time in the ballgame.
The pitchers took over from there as Constantakos struck out four of his final seven batters, while the Asheville bullpen held the Bucs off the scoreboard until the ninth.
After Ireson struck out the side in the Asheville bottom of the eight, the Bucs pushed across their final run of the contest in their ensuing at-bats to give CSU the 10-3 lead. Andronica connected on the two-out RBI single to left centerfield scoring Sconzo for the Bucs' final run.
Andrew surrendered a one-out single to Carmine Pagano, before retiring the final two batters of the contest to close out the CSU win.
Charleston Southern and UNC Asheville face off in game two of the weekend series tomorrow afternoon at Greenwood Field. First pitch on the Big South Network is set for 3 p.m.
Probable Pitching Matchup
Charleston Southern is expected to start Kyle Dyson (1-1, 5.33 ERA) on Saturday afternoon. UNC Asheville is expected to counter with Greg Gasparro (2-1, 3.21 ERA).