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Winthrop Eagles fall to Charlotte 16-5

Winthrop baseball coach Joe Hudak thought the Eagles had turned the corner.

Winthrop had lost four in a row before last weekend's three-game series at Charleston Southern, where the Eagles looked good winning two of three.

Wednesday night, however, the Charlotte 49ers served up a reminder that the Eagles still have plenty of work to do.

Charlotte exploded for five runs in the second and six more in the seventh to cruise to a 16-5 win at Hayes Stadium, extending the 49ers' home winning streak to 12 straight.

The 49ers now lead the series between the schools 13-12-1. The teams meet again in Rock Hill on April 27.

"We've been struggling for the last two months and I thought we had things turned around with that two-game winning streak (at Charleston Southern) but we just came in here and didn't play very well," Hudak said.

"We didn't play well defensively, we didn't pitch well and this is just one of those games that they beat us in every phase of it and they certainly deserved to win."

The Eagles (15-17) used eight different pitchers - an average of one per inning - and gave up 12 hits, including two home runs.

"Anytime you play Winthrop, they're going to use a lot of guys. They use a lot of different combinations of guys," said Charlotte coach Loren Hibbs. "They pinch hit. They do a good job using their pitching staff and their bench."

Winthrop had 10 hits, with second baseman Tyler Cook going 4-for-5. He scored two runs but had no RBI.

"Charlotte only got 12 hits and produced 16 runs with it. We walked (11) guys," Hudak said. "You've got to give them credit because they got the big hits when they needed them but we gave them plenty of opportunities."

Winthrop travels to Big South rival UNC Asheville and will open a three-game series against the Bulldogs at 3 p.m. Friday.