The Winthrop baseball team made some noise in the first but was quieted the rest of the game as Rhode Island topped the Eagles 4-2 in game two of the weekend series on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles failed to build off a two-run first inning – highlighted by a two-run inside-the-park home run by sophomore right fielder Jace Whitley – as Rhode Island pitching shut out Winthrop over the final eight innings.
Rhode Island hurler Sean Furney (1-2) collected his first win of the season as he pitched eight strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out five.
The loss drops Winthrop to 5-13 while Rhode Island is 5-11. The series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m. at The Winthrop Ballpark.
Eagles’ freshman starter Sam Kmiec (0-3) breezed his way through three innings of no-hit ball, but the Rams turned it on the second time through the batting order. Leadoff hitter Tim Caputo started off the fourth with a double down the left field line and scored on an RBI single by Mike LeBel.
Pat Quinn followed with a single to right field, advancing Lebel to third. Kmiec attempted a pick-off play at first base, but as the play developed, LeBel alertly raced home, tying the game at 2. An RBI double by Kevin Stenhouse scored the go-ahead run, and what proved to be the winning run, giving Rhode Island a 3-2 advantage.
In the sixth, the Rams extended their lead on a RBI single by Stenhouse, scoring LeBel.
Eagles reliever Mitchell Knox did not allow Rhode Island to extend its lead any further, as he pitched 3.1 strong innings of scoreless relief.
Winthrop threatened in the bottom of the ninth with runners on second and third with one out, but back-to-back strikeouts left them stranded.
Winthrop coach Tom Riginos said, “Pitching is keeping us in the ball game. We just can’t go quiet in innings two through nine.”
Despite the limited offensive output for Winthrop, designated hitter Max Vogel swung the bat well for the Eagles, going two for three.
Right-hand pitcher Tyler Klitsch (1-2) is expected to get the ball for the Eagles in Sunday’s matchup while Rhode Island’s starter has not yet been determined.
WP: Furney (1-2), LP: Kmiec (0-3), S: Dean (1)
Leading hitters: Rhode Island: LeBel (2-4, RBI), Quinn (2-4), Stenhouse (3-4, 2 RBI). Winthrop: Whitler (1-2, 2 RBI), Vogel (2-3).