Winthrop blanks VMI, 4-0

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Winthrop won its first Big South Conference series of the year by blanking VMI 4-0 on Sunday.

The Eagles improved to 11-16, 2-1 in conference play, with their eighth win in 10 games and headed into rivalry week. After a game Wednesday at College of Charleston, the Eagles will head to Conway for a three-game series with No. 22 Coastal Carolina.

Winthrop coach Joe Hudak said the Chanticleers haven't crossed his mind -- yet.

"We're playing pretty well right now," he said. "Eleven and 16 is not very good but when you were 3-14, 11-6 sounds pretty good."

The Eagles, Chanticleers and Radford are tied for third place at 2-1, behind High Point (3-3) and VMI (4-2). Winthrop claimed a tiebreaker over the Keydets with Sunday's win, sparked by Ryan Mullins' pitching and home runs from Billy Froehlich and Eddie Tisdale.

Mullins (2-0) threw six innings of three-hit ball, walking one and striking out four. Matteo D'Angelo relieved for 2 1-3 innings before facing a one-out bases-loaded situation in the ninth.

Closer Josh McDonald entered, coaxed a double-play ball and got his second save.

"I thought we would pitch well against them," Hudak said. "We only walked two guys the whole weekend."

The Eagles notched an early lead for the third straight day thanks to doubles from Bryn Henderson and Tyler McBride, each scoring after a couple of VMI miscues. Froehlich and Tisdale each hit solo homers to provide the rest of the runs.

Hudak said the weekend accomplished his goal of perhaps proving preseason predictions weren't accurate, that Winthrop was better than a tabbed fourth-place finish. Still, there's a long way to go.

• SOUTH CAROLINA 6, KENTUCKY 2 -- In Columbia, South Carolina broke a tie with four runs in the eighth inning to beat Kentucky 6-2 on Sunday.

The Gamecocks (18-7, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) took two of three games from the Wildcats (22-4, 5-4) in the weekend series.

Phil Disher's RBI single in the eighth put South Carolina ahead for good at 3-2. After a strikeout, Harley Lail, Reese Havens and Whit Merrifield each followed with RBI singles.

Lail went 3-for-3 for the Gamecocks, who had 10 hits.

• MARYLAND 5, CLEMSON 3 --In College Park, Md., Maryland made the most of its six hits and capitalized on two key Tiger errors to down Clemson.

Meanwhile, the Tigers only scored three of their 14 baserunners and left 11 men on base, including eight in scoring position. The Terrapins, who evened the series 1-1, improved to 14-12 overall and 3-8 in the ACC, while Clemson fell to 17-8 overall and 5-6 in ACC play.

Lefty Adam Kolarek (1-0) pitched 4 1-3 superb innings in relief to earn his first career win.