From Winthrop Media Relations
Clay Altman drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Winthrop baseball team a 2-1 win over the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in it’s season opener Friday night at The Winthrop Ballpark.
Altman, a sophomore, came on as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 10th and delivered a two out game-winning RBI, his first as an Eagle. T.J. Olesczuk scored the winning run from second base after he had reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced into scoring position on a pass ball.
“Clay Altman came off the bench, got a hitter’s count and did a good job of putting a good at-bat together,” Winthrop coach Tom Riginos said.
Winthrop reliever Mitchell Knox was credited with the win as he pitched 31/3 innings of hitless baseball while striking out five Hawks hitters. Winthrop’s pitchers struck out 15 batters.
Winthrop fell behind 1-0 in the third when Mike Escanilla scored from third on a wild pitch by Winthrop starter Matt Pierpont. Pierpont went six innings and stuck out six while giving up one run on five hits. The Winthrop bullpen came on to do the job as it held UMES to one hit over the final four innings.
The Eagles did not collect their first hit until the fifth inning when Leighton Daniels reached Hawks starter Jesus Hernandez for a double but he was stranded at second base. Winthrop finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning when Olesczuk opened the inning with a double down the left field line and was sacrificed to third by Jason Driver and came home on a single by Reid Langdale. The Eagles threatened again in the seventh inning but Daniels was thrown out at the plate on an attempted squeeze bunt.
Riginos was pleased with the win, but said “The offense will be a work in progress but we some things – we had the nice hit and run that got Leighton (Daniels) to third and we got the nice two-out hit.”
Winthrop and UMES are scheduled to play each other on Saturday at 3 p.m., weather permitting. If the game is cancelled due to weather, a doubleheader on Sunday is likely.