Despite a four-run fifth inning, the Winthrop baseball team dropped its second game in a row, losing to Kent State 8-5 in the second game of the 2014 Coca-Cola Classic.
With the loss, Winthrop levels its record at 2-2 while the Golden Flashes improved to 3-2. Kent State took the opening game of the tournament against Coppin State, 5-0.
Kent State took the lead early, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. The Golden Flashes seemed to have broken the game open in the top of the fourth with three runs on four hits, but the Eagles refused to go down easily.
Winthrop snapped its 15-inning scoring drought in the bottom of the fourth when Leighton Daniels scored his fourth run of the season off a groundout from Zac Goodno.
The Eagles added four more runs in the fifth inning to tie the game. Winthrop loaded the bases after getting singles from Clay Altman and Chad Smith and Kyle Edwards reached first base on a throwing error by pitcher Brian Clark. Another error by shortstop Sawyer Polen on a ground ball by Brad Kaczka allowed Altman and Smith to score and advanced Edwards to third. He scored on a base hit to center by Daniels with Kaczka going to third. Kaczka came home with the tying run on a fielder's choice groundout.
Kent State scored what proved to be the winning run in the sixth inning with the help of some pitching and fielding mistakes by Winthrop. Jake Neuschaefer reached base after being hit by a pitch from Eagles reliever Brock Goodling. He stole second and then advanced to third on a balk. He came into score on a fielding error by third baseman Chad Smith. Kent State added two insurance runs over the last two innings and held on for the win.
Goodling suffered his first loss as he allowed the one unearned run. Golden Flashes starter Brian Clark earned the win.
The three-day tournament continues on Saturday as Winthrop will play two games. The Eagles will meet Coppin State at noon before facing Kent State again at 4 p.m. The Sunday schedule has Kent State and Coppin State playing at 11 a.m. followed by the final game at 3 p.m. between Winthrop and Coppin State.