First-year Winthrop baseball coach Tom Riginos must be living right.
Somehow he has arranged to have better weather for his team's home opening weekend at The Winthrop Ballpark than what the team had in Southern California last week. Eagles fans hope the sun keeps shining on the program.
Winthrop takes on Wagner and Kent State this weekend in the Johnny Gill Memorial tournament. The Eagles play Wagner at 4 p.m. today.
Riginos has taken over a program that had settled into mediocrity. The past three seasons' combined record was a game under .500.
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The new coach seemed to be enjoying himself as he slapped ground balls across the infield to awaiting infielders. He was looking forward to seeing nice crowds this weekend.
The team was loose and confident on Wednesday as they went through drills before playing a five-inning intra-squad game. Winthrop went 1-2 on the West Coast swing, beating San Diego State, 14-9, in the season-opener.
"I think you are going to see a team battle no matter what," an upbeat senior catcher Eddie Rohan said. He had a double, a triple and four RBIs in the first three games.
The defense was great on the trip. The Eagles committed just two errors, and outfielder Cam Walters threw out a runner at the plate. Walters, a redshirt-junior out of Northwestern High School, missed last season following Tommy John surgery.
Sean Sullivan, a redshirt-junior outfielder, is 5-for-11 at the plate to start the season and said he likes where his swing is.
"I think we all saw (in San Diego) we had the most talented team out there," he said. "We just didn't put it all together. We'll get more consistent."
Riginos' most significant move to date was to move Tyler Mizenko to the top of the starting rotation. The junior right-hander served as the Eagles' closer his first two seasons. He is followed by seniors Robert Lake and Matteo D'Angelo.
Mitchell Knox, a left-handed redshirt-sophomore, has appeared in two games already. Knox transferred from Young Harris College in Georgia where he played for former Winthrop pitcher Jeremy Plexico. He was named First Team All-Conference last season.
First baseman/outfielder Matt Lobacz also transferred from Young Harris. He was ripping line drives Wednesday in the batting cage.
The Eagles are at home for the next 16 games through March 20.