Bucs post Saturday Big South sweep against UNC Asheville

Bucs post Saturday Big South sweep against UNC Asheville
Charleston Southern swept a Saturday doubleheader against UNC Asheville (Source: Charleston Southern Athletics)

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern bounced back from Friday night’s loss to secure the doubleheader sweep on Saturday afternoon at Nielsen Field at the CSU Ballpark. The Buccaneers topped the Bulldogs, 15-5, in the first game of the day, and then utilized a strong pitching performance from Daniel Padysak in the nightcap in the 9-1 win.

VIDEO: Bucs post Saturday Big South sweep against UNC Asheville

CSU (4-5, 4-2 Big South) marked its second Big South series win in as many weekend as the Buccaneers topped the Bulldogs behind a balanced offensive attack. The Bucs offense featured eight players posting multi-hit games over the two contests with Johnny Oliveira connecting on a pair of RBI triples in the second game, while Connor Aldrich and Tyrell Brewer both posted a pair of multi-hit games on the day.

UNC Asheville (2-9, 1-5 Big South) was unable to get on track on Saturday afternoon as the Bulldogs struggled against the strong starts from CSU’s Krishna Raj (1-1) and Padysak (1-1). Raj went six innings and surrendered six hits while striking out a pair in the opening game of the day, while Padysak went 7.1 innings in his third start of the season and struck out five in his first win of the season.

Houston Parker, Reid Hardwick, and Dante Blakeney all posted their first home runs of the 2021 spring season to power the Bucs to the pair of wins.

Game One: Charleston Southern 15, UNC Asheville 5 (8 innings)

Charleston Southern exploded for 13 runs over a five-inning span as the Buccaneers evened the series against UNC Asheville in Saturday’s opener against the Bulldogs.

Kyle Sandstrom and Houston Parker had three hits apiece to power a 16-hit CSU offensive onslaught as the Buccaneers scored two runs in the second, third, and eighth innings, while adding three runs in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth frames in the contest. Tyrell Brewer, Connor Aldrich, and Dylan Stewart added multi-hit efforts on the game, while Brooks Bryan added a bases-cleared three-run double to highlight his first start of the 2021 season.

The Bucs struck for two runs in the bottom of the second inning as Aldrich and Stewart connected on back-to-back RBI singles in the inning to put CSU ahead 2-0.

Asheville responded with three runs in the top of the third as Dominic Freeberger connected on a three-run home run off the scoreboard beyond the fence in left field scoring Ty Kaufman and Cam Johnson to put the Bulldogs ahead 3-2.

The teams swapped the lead over their next at-bats as Parker connected on a two-run shot in the bottom of the third inning, while Grayson Preslar and Kaufman both connected on RBI to give the Bulldogs the 5-4 lead in the top of the fourth.

From then on, it was all Bucs as Bryan’s three-run double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth inning swung the advantage firmly back to the Bucs.

Raj bounced back from a rough start to retire the final eight batters he faced in a six-inning stint on the mound. The sophomore right-hander allowed six hits and five runs, while striking out two in picking up his first win in a CSU uniform.

Hardwick’s solo home run and Brewer’s RBI double in the fifth inning added to CSU’s lead, while the Bucs plated three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the 13-5 lead.

John Sendziak hurled two innings of perfect relief for the Bucs out of the bullpen to keep the Bulldogs at bay, while Aldrich and Stewart connected on a pair of RBI in the bottom of the eighth to end the contest due to the Big South’s mercy rule.

Game Two: Charleston Southern 9, UNC Asheville

Johnny Oliveira connected on a pair of RBI triples, while Dante Blakeney connected on a pinch-hit two-run home run to provide CSU starter Daniel Padysak all the offensive support he needed as the Buccaneers claimed the rubber match against the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.

Padysak went 7.1 innings in his strongest start of the 2021 season as the Prague, Czech Republic freshman surrendered just four hits while striking out five in his first win of the season. Jordan Bridges, Sam Hunt, and Kyle Sandstrom combined to allow just one hit and two runners the rest of the way in closing out the Big South win.

Brewer, Oliveira, and Aldrich all posted multi-hit efforts in the contest, while Sandstrom and Oliveira both drove in multiple runs on the day. Houston Parker scored twice in the game to highlight his offensive output in the final game of the series.

Asheville struck first in the contest with Sebastian Dunn singling in Ty Kaufman in the top of the third to put the Bulldogs ahead early.

The Bucs answered with five runs in the bottom of the third inning to provide all the offense Padysak would need in the contest. Sandstrom opened the scoring with a two-run double scoring Dylan Stewart and Aldrich to put CSU ahead 2-1 with none out in the inning. Brewer added an RBI groundout, while Oliveira drilled a two-out, two-run triple to right centerfield to cap the scoring in the five-run, five-hit frame.

The Bucs added two more runs in the fifth on an Oliveira triple and Reid Hardwick’s sacrifice fly, while Blakeney’s two-run homer down the right field line in the bottom of the sixth capped the CSU scoring on the day.

Padysak retired the Bulldogs in order in four of his seven innings and left the game after retiring nine consecutive batters before turning the ball over to Bridges with one out in the top of the eighth inning.

News & Notes

  • Charleston Southern won back-to-back series to start Big South play for the first time since the 2004 season when CSU topped Liberty and UNC Asheville to open conference competition.
  • Both Krishna Raj and Daniel Padysak recorded their first wins on the mound in the 2021 spring season.
  • CSU’s first home run of the 2021 season came in the bottom of the third inning in the first game of the doubleheader as Houston Parker deposited a two-run shot to the right of the scoreboard beyond the left field fence.
  • Reid Hardwick and Dante Blakeney both added their first home runs of the 2021 season on Saturday afternoon.
  • Johnny Oliveira became the second Buccaneer in as many weekends to post a multi-triple game as the junior outfielder connected on a pair of RBI three-baggers in the final game of the series.
  • Oliveira joined teammate Dylan Stewart in reaching the mark and becoming just the third Buccaneer to post two or more triples in a game in program history.
  • Tyrell Brewer has hit safely in eight of the Bucs’ nine games in the 2021 season and has posted five multi-hit efforts on the year
  • Houston Parker ends the weekend on a four-game hitting streak and paces the Bucs with five doubles on the season, while leading CSU with eight RBI.
  • Dylan Stewart has hit safely in five of the Bucs’ last six games and leads CSU with a .471 batting average on the season.
  • Kyle Sandstrom has hit safely in six of CSU’s last seven games and has scored at least one run in each of the Bucs’ last five contests.

Up Next

Charleston Southern heads to Presbyterian College and the PC Baseball Complex for a Tuesday afternoon contest in Clinton, S.C. First pitch in the midweek game between the Big South rivals is set for 3 p.m.