CHARLESTON, S.C. – The 2019 version of Charleston Southern baseball takes to the diamond Friday when LaSalle comes to the Lowcountry for a season-opening series.
The Buccaneers return 20 players from a 2018 squad that made their first Big South Tournament appearance under head coach Adam Ward, while also welcoming 15 newcomers. Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year Josh Litchfield headlines the outfield while All-Big South second team catcher Christian Maggio returns to the dish for his sophomore season.
Home series in 2019 include LaSalle and Georgia State along with a three-day tournament hosting Notre Dame and Ball State. Other home nonconference games include Charleston rivals The Citadel and College of Charleston, Savannah State, Georgia Southern and Kent State. CSU travels to national powers North Carolina and Clemson during the midweek and have neutral site bouts with Wofford and SEC power South Carolina.
The home conference slate sees the Bucs play host to Radford, Gardner-Webb, USC Upstate and Presbyterian while road series have the Bucs travel to Winthrop, High Point, preseason-favorite Campbell, Longwood and UNC Asheville.
The first installment of CSU Sports Information's look at the 2019 roster begins with the pitchers and catchers ahead of the season opener Friday night against LaSalle.
Senior pitchers Tyler Weekley and Cody Maw look to lead the starting staff and compete for Friday night and Saturday spots. Both have left their mark at CSU through their junior seasons carrying top-25 ERA's into their final campaign and posting 4.3 and 4.1 K/BB ratios. Meanwhile, Eddit Hiott has been called upon 61 times across three seasons and holding opponents to a .214 clip and 4.39 ERA.
Jaret Bennett made six starts last season as the southpaw pitched tossed 27.1 innings striking out 23 batters. Jamison Mobbs enters his senior season with 30 career appearances out of the bullpen with 24 strikeouts across 27.2 innings of work.
Seth Owens returns for his junior season after posting a career-best 2.18 ERA striking out 16 opponents in 20.2 innings and collecting a 1-1 record out of the bullpen. Fellow junior and two-way player Ryan Stoudemire is expected to make more appearances on the mound after spending his summer at the Cape Cod League. Stoudemire tossed 35.0 innings in 18 appearances with five starts while striking out 40 and collecting 10.29 K's/9 innings.
Jordan Bridges made the most of his opportunities last season with a 1.69 ERA in 5.1 innings of relief work striking out five and allowing just one run.
CSU adds veteran pitchers Payton Holdsworth, Lucas Ford and Cam Weinberger to the staff. Ford was named an All-NWAC relief pitcher and made the Pacific Northwest All-Region second team. Weinberger comes from Eastern Florida State College where he tossed 42.1 innings and struck out 41 to the tune of a 3.19 ERA.
The Bucs also bring in freshmen RJ Petit, Trent Seibert, Hunter Iling and Logan Adams for the 2019 campaign. Petit was a first team 5A performer for Rock Hill High School in 2018 while Iling and Adams add more right-handed help and Seibert throws from the left side.
Q&A with senior reliever Eddie Hiott
After a breakout debut season that saw a spot on the All-Big South second team, Christian Maggio returns behind the dish. In 39 games, Maggio collected 38 hits with 16 RBI's and 18 walks while posting a .288/.370/.341 slash line. Freshman catcher Brooks Bryan looks to add immediate depth and relieve Maggio, giving the Bucs a right-handed hitting backstop.
Q&A with sophomore catcher Christian Maggio