Sports

Eagles top No. 11 Bulldogs

ATHENS, Ga. -- The pitching staff was nearly flawless as the Winthrop baseball team topped No. 11 Georgia 5-1.

The Eagles' pitchers walked one batter in the game and gave up one unearned run.

"This was certainly a big win for us," said Winthrop coach Joe Hudak. "They are a great club and are playing very well right now."

Winthrop's season record moves up to 13-19, while Georgia, who had a seven-game winning streak snapped, falls to 20-11.

Right-hander Wade Newman, making his third start, picked up his second win of the year after going 3 2-3 innings and giving up one unearned run. Billy Tinsley relieved Newman and shut down the Bulldogs for 2 1-3 innings. Robert Lake also pitched well as he worked 1 1-3 innings, while Josh McDonald slammed the door on Georgia, working 1 2-3 scoreless innings.

"We needed to score some runs early and throw strikes and that was exactly what we did," said Hudak. "I'm really pleased with how we threw."

Offensively, Winthrop was led by outfielder Tony Brunetti's two-run homer. Third baseman Bryn Henderson, who went 2-for-4, and outfielder Bennett Jordan picked up the other RBIs.

Justin Grimm started on the mound for the Bulldogs and was tagged with the loss as he worked 3 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Steve Esmond was the highlight of the Georgia pitching staff, as he threw 5 hitless innings.

Georgia's Gordon Beckham and Matt Olson picked up two hits each to lead their club.

The Eagles opened the scoreboard in the second inning as they produced a couple of runs for a 2-0 lead. Outfielder Billy Froehlich took a leadoff walk and Brunetti singled on a hit-and-run to advance Froehlich to third. Henderson came up with a deep double to right field to score Froehlich while advancing Brunetti to third. An infield single by Jordan with two outs plated Brunetti.

Winthrop used a big three-run third inning to stretch the lead to 5-0. Shortstop Kevin Nolan hit a hard line drive to right field to find his way to second base. He then advanced to third on a groundout by Froehlich and scored on a wild pitch by Grimm. Catcher Eddie Rohan was next as he singled and Brunetti hit his first collegiate home run to score two runs.

The Bulldogs took advantage of Winthrop miscues to get on the board, scoring a run in the third. Adam Fuller reached base on a fielding error by Nolan, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Newman and scored on a single by Olson.

The Eagles also made two spectacular defensive plays as Froehlich threw a strike to the plate to get Georgia runner Bryce Massanari out as he was trying to score from second. Outfielder Louis Ullrich had the last putout of the game as he made a fantastic running catch on a fly ball to right field.

"Billy threw a strike; that was a huge out for us at that moment of the game," said Hudak. "The rest of the year will be promising for us if we can keep playing the way we are right now."

The Eagles go back to conference action as they play a three-game series against High Point at The Winthrop Ballpark. Game one is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday.

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