Winthrop baseball hosts Kent State and Coppin State this weekend

February 20, 2014 

Winthrop’s baseball team will host Kent State and Coppin State in the 2014 Coca-Classic Classic this weekend at Winthrop Ballpark with two games scheduled for each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Winthrop is scheduled to face Kent State, out of the Mid-American Conference, in the second game on Friday that will follow the first game between the Golden Flashes and Coppin State, out of the Mid-East Athletic Conference, that has been delayed until 1 p.m. due to a rain forecast. Saturday’s schedule has Winthrop playing a doubleheader beginning with Coppin State at noon followed by Kent State at 4 p.m. Coppin and Kent State will meet again on Sunday at 11 a.m. followed by the Winthrop and Coppin State game at 3 p.m.

Friday’s game against Kent State is scheduled to air on the Big South Network. Ticket prices for each day of the classic are $5 for the general public and $3 for children and senior adults.

Winthrop is 2-1 on the season after opening with two wins over Akron (6-5, 6-2) last Sunday before losing to Western Carolina (8-0) on Tuesday.

“We are very excited about the tournament this weekend,” said Riginos “It will be a great weekend of baseball. As we know Kent Stat was a 2102 CWS participant and one of the top baseball program in the nation, Coppin State last year had the biggest win turn around in the nation and they bring just about their whole line up back. So to say the least it will be a very competitive weekend of baseball.”

Winthrop and Kent State will be meeting for the 30th time, with all games being played in Rock Hill. The Golden Flashes own a 17-12 lead in the series and have won the last four meetings. Winthrop’s last win over Kent State came in the sixth game of the 2008 season when Kent State was ranked No. 24. Kent State will bring a 1-2 record into Friday’s game after opening the season at Arizona last weekend. The Golden Flashes, who advanced to the 2012 College World Series, finished the 2013 season with a 36-23 record and a No. 8 national ranking.

Winthrop and Coppin State met twice back in the 1995 season in the NCAA playoffs. The Eagles won both of those games and advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the first time at Clemson. The Coppin State Eagles’ game against Kent State marks their season opener. Last year, Coppin State finished with an 18-33 record.

Riginos has announced his starting rotation for the four-game weekend. Sophomore southpaw Sam Kmiec (0-0) will get the nod on Friday. Sophomore right-hander Joey Strain (1-0) will pitch the opener on Saturday while lefty Josh Strong (0-1) will take the mound in the nightcap. Riginos plans to give senior right-hander Jason Driver (1-0) his first start on Sunday.

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