Charleston Southern utilized a quality start from Nik Constantakos and took advantage of a bout of wildness by the Campbell pitching staff to take Friday night's series opener against host Campbell, 12-6.
Constantakos (2-1) picked up his second win of the season and struck out a pair of Camels (12-14, 2-2) in both the first and fourth innings on his way to taking the victory. The freshman right-hander from Jupiter, Fla. allowed seven hits and three runs while striking out six in the win.
Five different Bucs (14-10, 3-4) drove in multiple runs in the contest paced by Jason Miller's three RBI night as CSU struck early against the Camels with three runs in the second inning and never looked back. The Bucs added four runs in the fifth and took advantage of five consecutive walks issued by Campbell pitchers in the fifth to give CSU a double-digit lead in the contest.
The Camels rallied back an RBI single off the bat of Jimmy Monaghan in the eighth and a Jeff Hahs two-run home run in the ninth before Seth Owens closed out the contest and sealed the CSU 12-6 win.
Seven different Bucs recorded hits in the contest paced by Michael Sconzo's 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Nate Blanchard, Cody Smith, and Josh Hall all scored twice in the game.
The Bucs struck first in the top of the second off of Campbell starter Allan Winans (2-3) with three runs to take the early lead. Chris Singleton drew a lead-off walk and advanced to third on Sconzo's double. Kyle Vesnesky drove both runners in with a double down the left field line to plate the first two runs. Two batters later, Vesnesky scored off of a Smith groundout to give CSU the 3-0 lead.
Blanchard put the Bucs on the board in the fifth inning with an RBI single to right field driving in Smith. Jason Miller greeted Campbell reliever Harry Thomas with a two-run single up the middle to stake CSU to the 6-0 lead. A bout of wildness allowed Miller to advance to third following a passed ball and a wild pitch. Miller beat the throw to the plate on Brandon Gragilla's fielder's choice to add to the CSU total.
Campbell got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth as Adam Wyse connected on a sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Zach Minnick. Matthew Barefoot followed with an RBI single scoring Christian Jones to narrow the CSU lead to 7-2.
Following a CSU ground out to open the top of the sixth, the Buccaneers showed patience at the plate as five consecutive batters drew walks. Blanchard and Miller brought home Dan Vaughan and Smith during the stretch to give the Bucs the 9-2 lead. Hall scored on a Gragilla fielder's choice, before Singleton connected on a triple to left field clearing the bases and giving the Bucs the 12-2 lead.
Constantakos surrendered a two-out home run to Barron in the bottom of the sixth before retiring Minnick on strikes for his final out of the contest.
Jamison Mobbs retired the Camels in the seventh before turning the ball over to Owens for the final two frames. The Camels plated three late as they attempted to mount a comeback, but Owens ended the contest getting Barron to fly out to Hall in right field for the final out.
Miller (16) and Vesnesky (13) both extended their on-base streaks on Friday night as the duo continues to pace the CSU offense. Vesnesky extended his streak with a two-run double in the top of the second, while Mille's two-run single in the top of the fifth added to the CSU lead.
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 Friday night drought is over for the Buccaneers as CSU recorded its first win on final day of the work week against the Camels. CSU had previously been 0-5 on Fridays leading up to the opener against the Camels. CSU's series opening win over Campbell was also just the second time the Bucs had taken the series opener in the 2017 season with the previous one coming on March 4 against Hofstra.
The Bucs closed out their second consecutive month with a winning record after sporting a 10-8 mark in the month of March. CSU finished the opening month of February with a 4-2 record following series wins over Delaware State and VCU.
Charleston Southern and Campbell continue the weekend series tomorrow afternoon with first pitch at Perry Stadium set for 3 p.m.
Probable Pitching Matchup
The Bucs are expected to send out RHP Kyle Dyson (1-0, 4.09 ERA) for the Saturday start against the Camels. Campbell is expected to start RHP Alex Yarem (1-0, 4.55 ERA).