Winthrop University’s baseball team lost the rubber game with Kent State 7-5 Sunday at Winthrop Ballpark, giving the Golden Flashes the 2-1 series win.
A lead-off home run started off a hot three-run first inning for the Kent State (6-3), but the Eagles answered, including a solo homer from Jake Sullivan in the second to pull within 3-2 after two. Down 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth with two outs, the Eagles had the bases loaded with no outs but couldn’t capitalize.
Winthrop (4-8) had the tying run at the plate again in the bottom of the seventh, with Tyler Halstead on third and Jake Sullivan at bat with the Golden Flashes leading 7-5, but couldn’t bring it home. Kent State brought in RHP Robert Zeigler to close out the game and the Eagles were unable to make something happen with their last chance in the ninth.
Sullivan’s solo home run in the second was his first homer of the season. Halstead matched a season-high three hits, including one double. Halstead also led the Eagles with two RBI on the day.
Senior lefty Riley Arnone allowed two hits and no runs in five innings of relief work.
On Friday, Winthrop took the opening game of the series 8-2. The Eagles jumped on top with a five-spot in the second inning and never looked back, posting 11 total hits on the day.
Junior outfielder Cale Gibson was 3-for-4 at the plate, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the third and had four RBIs in the game. Halstead was 3-for-4 at the plate, including his first triple of the season which scored the first run of the game and sparked the flurry of runs for the Eagles in the second inning.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Zach Peek went eight innings, a career-high, allowing just one run on two hits and a new career-high 12 strikeouts.
The next day, in game two, Winthrop fell 9-1 after the Golden Flashes came out swinging, jumping on top with a four-run first. The Eagles were plagued by errors throughout the game, committing a season-high five. Kent State's pitching staff racked up 12 strikeouts.
The Eagles return to Winthrop Ballpark Tuesday and Wednesday this week for two non-conference matchups. Winthrop takes on UNC Greensboro Tuesday and The Citadel Wednesday. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 6 p.m.