Eagles fall to Cougars on controversial call

CHARLESTON -- Winthrop allowed the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning just before heavy rain pelted the field, leading to a 5-4 loss to College of Charleston on Wednesday. The inning was finished and the game was called before the Eagles got a chance to reclaim the lost run.

"One of the worst decisions I've ever seen in over 30 years of coaching," Winthrop coach Joe Hudak said. "They made us finish the bottom of the inning in a downpour. It was 20-30 minutes where it was just drizzling. All we needed was three outs."

The game was tied at 4 when Michael Harrington hit a double off Josh McDonald. He advanced to third on Joey Bergman's long fly out and began to creep off the bag.

Catcher John Murrian jumped from his crouch and tried to nail Harrington with a pickoff throw but the ball sailed into left field. The rain began soon after and the game was called after it was determined the weather wouldn't improve.

"I feel bad for my players. It's grossly unfair," Hudak said. "We were fighting so hard, and then to not have an opportunity to get the last three outs ...

"I thought we played really hard. If we had made a couple of more plays, we would have gotten a win."

The Eagles fell to 11-17 while College of Charleston improved to 19-8.

First baseman Eddie Tisdale extended his hitting streak to 12 games by hitting a two-run homer to right. Murrian was 2-for-3 and second baseman Aaron Bonomi was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Six Winthrop pitchers took the mound with varying results. Dane Yoder pitched 2 2-3 innings of one-hit ball and struck out three.

Winthrop's next task will be a Big South Conference showdown at No. 24 Coastal Carolina. Game 1 of the three-game series is scheduled for 6 p.m. today.

"We would have liked to get the win, but other than that, we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish," Hudak said.