The Winthrop baseball team split a doubleheader with the High Point Panthers on Saturday at The Winthrop Ballpark to finish the three-game series between the two teams. The Panthers took the first game 15-9, while the Eagles were victorious in game two 8-4.
Winthrop is now 13-10 on the season and 1-2 in the Big South Conference, while High Point's record is 16-8 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
Corey Swickle (4-0) earned the victory in game one for the Panthers throwing 4 1-3 innings and gave up three runs on four hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Matteo D'Angelo (2-3) took the loss for the Eagles surrendering seven runs on seven hits, one walk and two strikeouts in 4 innings of work.
The game was scoreless heading into the third inning before High Point drove in five runs highlighted by Nate Robert's grand slam off the scoreboard in left center field and a solo homer to right field by Matt Gantner.
Winthrop cut the deficit to 5-2 in the bottom half of the third when Eddie Rohan hit a two-run homer to left center field that scored Tyler Cook. Cook walked two batters earlier.
The Panthers answered with one run in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Mike Mercurio, but the Eagles would tie the game up at 6-6 in its half of the fourth. Chas Crane and Sullivan started things off with back-to-back home runs, which was the third home run of the season for Crane. Cook and Zak Blair also added an RBI in the inning.
High Point scored four runs of their own in the top of the fifth to re-take the lead at 10-6. Gantner started the scoring with his two RBI double and Steve Antolik followed three batters later with an RBI single. Andrew Bartlett drove in the final run on a RBI single to center field.
Rohan added his second home run of the game in the fifth inning to make it a 10-7 game in favor of the Panthers.
High Point would go up 15-7 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning after scoring two runs in the sixth and three in the eighth. Antolik drove in all five runs with his two-run single in the sixth and three RBI double in the eighth.
Blair drove home his second run of the game for Winthrop in the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI single and Max Vogel would bring home Sullivan on a pinch-hit RBI groundout to second base. Sullivan walked earlier in the inning.
Rohan, Blair and Matt Thielepape had two hits apiece for the Eagles offensively, while Rohan had three RBI and Blair drove in two. Antolik posted a team-high four hits and six RBI for the Panthers in the first game.
Robert Lake (4-1) tossed 6.2 innings in game two and allowed four runs (two earned), six hits, three runs and five strikeouts to pick up the victory for Winthrop. Brian Jones (0-2) would take the loss giving up six runs (four earned) on six hits, one walk and one strikeout in 3.2 innings pitched.
"Robert stepped up and gave us a quality start," Winthrop coach Joe Hudak said following the game two victory. "We also got good relief pitching from Greg Hough and Tyler Mizenko."
High Point would strike first with a Kyle Mahoney RBI double down the left field line scoring Pablo Rosario from first after leading the game off with an infield single.
Winthrop took the lead for good by driving in three runs in the second inning and one in the third. Sullivan began the second with a solo home run to left field. It was his second homer of the day. Cook and Adam Gliebe would add RBI singles as well in the second, while Rohan's solo homer in the third inning was his third of the day and team-leading eighth of the season.
The Eagles scored three more runs over the course of the next two innings on a two RBI double by Cook in the bottom of the fourth and Patrick Gamblin's RBI double in the fifth before Antolik drove in Gantner on an RBI single in the Panther's half of the sixth inning.
High Point cut the Winthrop lead to 7-4 in the seventh on an RBI sacrifice bunt by Murray White IV and an RBI single by Gantner.
Sullivan extended the Eagles lead to 8-4 in the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run over the left center field fence. It was his third long ball of the afternoon and fifth of the season.
"This was a huge ballgame for us," Hudak said. "I was real pleased with how we played today. I thought offensively, all day, we had good at-bats. It was good to see that."
Cook, Sullivan and Gamblin all finished with two hits each in the series finale, while Cook posted a team-best three RBI. Gantner added three hits for the Panthers.
Winthrop will be back in action at 6 p.m. on Tuesday as it travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on North Carolina.
SOUTH CAROLINA 2, AUBURN 0 -- In Auburn, Ala., Sam Dyson hurled seven scoreless innings and struck out nine batters and combined with relievers Michael Roth and Matt Price to help South Carolina defeat Auburn, clinching the weekend series against the Tigers.
Scott Wingo tallied a game-winning RBI base hit in the eighth inning and Kyle Enders added a RBI single in the ninth as the Gamecocks improved to 19-4 and 5-0 in the SEC. Auburn drops to 16-7 and 3-2 in conference play.
The series finale is set for 2 p.m. today.
CLEMSON 8, VIRGINIA 5 -- In Charlottesville, Va., Virginia native Will Lamb pitched 7 strong innings to lead Clemson to a win over Virginia in the first game of a doubleheader. The Tigers, who evened the series 1-1 and snapped a seven-game road losing streak to Virginia, improved to 18-5 overall and 7-1 in the ACC. The Cavaliers fell to 19-4 overall and 6-2 in ACC play. The second game of the doubleheader was not over in time to meet Herald deadlines.
Lamb (3-0), a native of Seaford, Va., allowed just five hits, two runs (one earned), and two walks with two strikeouts in a career-high 7 innings pitched to earn the win. David Haselden pitched the final 1 1-3 innings to record his second save of the year.