Winthrop overcame a mid-February snow storm but fell to Maryland Eastern Shore 7-4 at The Winthrop Ballpark Sunday afternoon.
The loss evens Winthrop’s record at 1-1 as they prepare for a road game on Wednesday at The Citadel at 6 p.m.
After spending more than six hours of clearing snow from the field and getting the turf ready for the game, the Eagles fell behind 4-0 in the top of the second inning when the Hawks reached starting pitcher Tyler Klitsch for four hits and took advantage of two fielding errors to take the early lead. The big hit in the inning was a two-run double by Joshua James.
Winthrop battled back in the fifth inning to knot the game at 4 as it put together six hits off starting pitcher Zachary Saca.
Reid Langdale reached on an error by the third baseman and advanced to second on a single to center field by Kyle Edwards. Both runners came around to score on a double to right center by Nick Bateman.
Leighton Daniels followed with an RBI infield single that scored Bateman, then Cody Dolan delivered a double to left center that scored Daniels to tie the game. Dolan was thrown out trying to advance to third.
UMES added single runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to take a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth and held on for the win as Devin Repine came in to get the save despite giving up a single and two walks. The Eagles had the winning run at the plate with two outs, but Stephen Wallace fouled out to the catcher.
“We didn’t get the big hit but they did. Credit UMES. They put the ball in play and hit it where we weren’t, but we hit the ball well and got 12 hits. From Friday night to tonight, we made some big improvements on offense. So for me, there were a lot of positives,” said Winthrop coach Tom Riginos.
Winthrop had 12 hits as five players had two hits each. Bateman, Daniels, Dolan, Lobacz, and Altman accounted for 10 of the Eagles’ hits.
UMES was led at the plate by Tre-von Johnson with three hits while Stephen Bull, Jeffrey Fleetwood, Mike Escanilla, and Thomas Gray had two each.
Freshman righthander Joey Strain, who worked an inning and two-thirds, lost for the Eagles while UMES reliever Bernard Parker won after pitching 3 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing three hits and two walks.
“We played some excellent defense all weekend and the pitching is much improved. We have got some strong young arms coming out of the bullpen,” said Riginos. Winthrop’s six pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on Sunday, following a 14-strikeout performance on Friday.
WP: Parker (1-0). LP: Strain (0-1). Save: Repine.
Leading hitters: UMES: Bull (2-5), Johnson (3-5, RBI), Fleetwood (2-5), Escanilla (2-3), Gray (2-4, 3 RBI). Winthrop: Bateman (2-5, 2 RBI), Daniels (2-4, RBI), Dolan (2-5, RBI), Lobacz (2-4), Altman (2-5).