PHILADELPHIA - The Penn baseball team returns south for the final time this season, facing the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in a three-game set this weekend. Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for 11:30 and 3 p.m., while Sunday's finale will begin at 1 p.m.
The Quakers bring a 3-6 record into the weekend and are on a two-game losing streak after drops to North Dakota State and Temple in the past week. Charleston Southern sits at 5-13 with all five wins coming on its home field of Buccaneer Ballpark. The Bucs have lost three in a row, scoring a total of five runs against Rider, South Carolina and Savannah State.
Last Time Out
Despite a 5-0 lead after two innings, Penn fell to Temple on Wednesday evening after a three-run shot in the eighth inning tied the game for the Owls, who then added four runs in the 11th and held on for an 11-9 win over the Quakers. Derek Vigoa moved his batting average to north of .300 with a four-hit game while Ryan Deitrich and Spencer Branigan each launched their first home runs of the season in a losing effort.
Tracking the Quakers
Charleston Southern will offer live stats of this weekend's action here, however no audio orstreaming videoof the games will be available.
About the Buccaneers
Offense: CSU has shown an array of different line-ups already this season, with 15 players having received at least two starts in the field. Freshman Chase Shelton has been the best Charleston Southern hitter in the early going, compiling a .383 average with seven doubles. Brian Welch has also gotten off to a good start and gives the Buccaneer line-up some pop. After hitting .184 with no home runs as a freshman, Welch has upped those numbers early on in his sophomore season, hitting .323 and smacking a pair of round-trippers as well as two triples and four doubles.
Pitching and Defense: Three CSU pitchers - Ryan Gunther, Patrick Dolan and Kevin Buran - have started four games each, so at least two of them, if not all three, are a good bet to face Penn over the weekend. Another potential starter, Charlie McCready has an ERA of just 2.81 but a record of 1-2. As a staff, CSU has an ERA of 5.13. Penn has shown a knack for speed on the basepaths so far this season, and they might look to run even more than usual against the Buccaneers. CSU has allowed 31 swipes in 43 attempts while stealing just seven of its own on the year.
King of the Hill
Vince Voiro earned his first career Ivy League Pitcher of the Week award on Tuesday after throwing a complete game, six-hit masterpiece last weekend in a 3-2 win over Northeastern. The complete game was the 11th of Voiro's Penn career, but just the first in a nine-inning contest. Adding in two innings of scoreless relief during the late stages of Wednesday's game with Temple, Voiro has reduced his ERA to a mere 1.69 in 16.0 innings of work.
With a pair of home runs on Wednesday night, Deitrich and Branigan became the first Penn teammates to homer in the same game since the season finale of the 2011 season when Greg Zebrack and Mike Mariano connected on a pair against Columbia. Both that game and Wednesday's contest had unfortunately similar results for the Quakers however, as the Lions defeated the Red and Blue by a count of 11-10 and Temple escaped with an 11-9 win.