February 22, 2009

Eagles stay perfect with pair of victories on the diamond

The Winthrop Eagles improved to 3-0 with a pair of wins Saturday on the second day of the Johnny Gill Memorial Tournament.

Two strong pitching efforts were the name of the game for the Eagles. Dom Patterozzi worked into the eighth inning in the first game and Robert Lake pitched into the ninth in the second.

Patterozzi (1-0) scattered five hits and struck out eight in 7 1-3 innings as Winthrop beat George Washington 11-5 in the opener. John Murrian had four hits and Eddie Tisdale had three to lead the Eagles.

Murrian's first at-bat was a 380-foot homer to center field. The blast brought in Kevin Nolan, who reached on a two-out walk. The catcher is off to a fast start offensively. He has eight hits in 12 at-bats with two homers and nine RBIs. He drove in 27 runs last season.

In the second inning, Tony Brunetti singled and stole second. He came around to score on a triple to left-center by freshman Garrett Koster.

George Washington's Andrew Haberern led off the third inning with the Colonials' first hit. He ripped Patterozzi's first offering to the warning track in left field. Brunetti got a glove on the ball but couldn't squeeze it for the out. One out later, Tom Zebroski brought Haberern in with a long double to center.

Tim Reeves drove in Zebroski with a single and Sean Rockey laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to bring in Chris Holland to tie the game at 3.

Patterozzi recovered, though, sitting down 12 in a row between the fourth and seventh innings.

Winthrop took a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the third. Tisdale, Nolan and Murrian came in to score without the Eagles getting a ball out of the infield.

The Eagles got three straight doubles in the fifth and scored three runs to chase starting pitcher Eric Cantrell (0-1). Cantrell went 4 2-3 innings and gave up nine runs and nine hits.

In the second game, the Eagles surrendered a run in the first inning but bounced back to beat Eastern Michigan 8-1.

EMU got an RBI double from Zack Leonard in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead on Lake. Jim Gulliver reached on a bloop single and scored from first on Leonard's double to the left-center gap.

Winthrop tied the game in the fourth when Bryn Henderson collected his first hit of the season, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a passed ball. He scored on a groundout by Nolan.

Lake, a sophomore from Prosperity, pitched brilliantly after stumbling in the first inning. He struck out six and got a double play from his defense to erase one of the three hits he allowed after the first frame.

He said he hasn't had a game like Saturday's since high school.

"I have to give credit to my defense. They made a lot of plays behind me," Lake said.

He pitched 8 1-3 innings and threw 98 pitches, both career highs, before Winthrop coach Joe Hudak lifted him for Greg Hough.

"His slider was really good and he was locating his fastball," Hudak said of Lake. "And Dom has thrown well ever since he got here."

Jordan Goldschmidt started for Eastern Michigan. The 6-foot-5 sophomore kept Winthrop off balance through the first five innings with an unusual delivery. He sat down the first nine batters in order.

Tisdale figured Goldschmidt out in the sixth when he laced a double off the center field wall to score Tyler McBride from first with the go-ahead run. Sean Sullivan added some insurance with a two-run single to chase Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt (0-1) went 5 2-3 innings and gave up five runs on five hits and a walk.

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