Seven runs scored in the first three innings proved too much to overcome as the Winthrop baseball team fell 7-1 to Southern Cal on Sunday afternoon at The Winthrop Ballpark.
With the loss, Winthrop's record falls to 3-8 on the season, while Southern Cal improves to 9-4 with the win.
First baseman Eddie Tisdale was the only Eagle batter who managed to get more than one hit. Outfielder Billy Froehlich picked up his seventh RBI of the season as well as his second stolen base of the year.
On the hill, freshman left-hander Hamilton Bennett (0-3) was charged with the loss after a rough 2 1-3-inning outing. Bennett allowed seven runs on seven hits, one walk and one strikeout.
The Eagle bullpen did a great job on relieving Bennett as five other pitchers combined for 6 2-3 shutout innings. Dave Carbonell, Ryan Mullins, Matteo D'Angelo, Josh McDonald and Tyler McBride all pitched at least one inning without giving up any runs.
For USC, Robert Stock had a 3-for-3 day at the plate, while Vinnie St. John led the team in RBIs with three.
Right-hander Ryan Cook collected the win for Southern Cal as he worked seven innings allowing four hits, one run and one walk while striking out five.
It was a tough day for Bennett from the get-go as the Trojans managed to put three runs on the board in the first inning. After Roberto Lopez hit a leadoff single and Nick Buss walked, Grant Green tripled to plate both runners. Green would score moments later on a sacrifice fly from Mike Roskopf.
Winthrop fought back and got a run in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Aaron Bonomi led off with a stand-up double and moved to third on a single by Tisdale. Froehlich then picked up a one-out RBI, reaching on a fielder's choice to plate Bonomi.
Southern Cal stretched the lead to 4-1 in the second inning as Billy Pinkerton singled to leadoff the frame and advanced to second behind a single by Stock. St. John then attempted a bunt to advance the base runners, but instead he reached first safely, while Pinkerton scored from second on a throwing error by third baseman Sean Sullivan.
The Trojans put the game away in the third inning when they produced three runs. Derek Perren started things off with a single and advanced to third on a single by Roskopf. Hector Rabago's single then scored Perren and advanced Roskopf a base. Pinkerton followed with a deep fly ball in foul territory close to the right-field wall, making outfielder Cam Walters go full stride to make the out. Walters caught the ball, but the two runners were able to advance a base as he lost his grip, dropping the ball attempting a throw to second base. Bennett then hit Stock to load the bases. Carbonell came out of the bullpen to face St. John and the Trojan batter came up with a two-RBI single, leaving the scoreboard at 7-1.
After that, both offenses remained quite and a pitching duel followed for six innings, but the damage was too large to overcome.
"Our starting pitching didn't pitch very well and we didn't swing the bats," said Winthrop coach Joe Hudak. "We scored six runs in three games. We were behind 7-0 yesterday after three and 7-1 today after three, and we just don't have the type of offensive club right now that can come back from that. You got to give credit to Southern Cal. They are a very good club and I though they swung the bats very well and pitched well. We're struggling right now and we're frustrated, but we're just going to try to keep working, stay together and hopefully get it turned around at some point. I thought our bullpen threw very well this weekend, but we were out of games before we could get to them."
The Eagles will start their road schedule on Tuesday as they travel to Elon for a 4 p.m. matchup.
• MEN'S TENNIS -- The Winthrop men's tennis team hosted Florida A&M on Sunday afternoon at The Winthrop Memorial Courts, defeating the Rattlers 4-3.
The Eagles are now 5-5 on the year, while the Rattlers dropped to 4-4.
Winthrop clinched the doubles point against the Rattlers by winning two of the three matches to take an early 1-0 lead.
Rodrigo Santos and Alejandro Portugal won their No. 1 doubles match against Artiom Podgainii and Simabarashe Happy 9-7. In the No. 2 doubles match, the duo of Vinicius Bortolatto and Arthur Takahashi defeated Michael Moore and Maurice Wamukowa 8-2.
Santos, playing No. 1 singles, won his fourth straight match as he defeated Podgainii 7-6, 6-2. Playing No. 2 singles, Bortolatto defeated Cliffort Malivert 6-4, 6-4. Takahashi dropped the first set against Happy, but rallied to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Portugal played a tough No. 4 singles match against Moore, but fell 4-6, 6-3, 2-6.
"It was great that we won doubles, the doubles point was very valuable," said coach Cid Carvalho. "Rodrigo and Vinicius played well at Nos. 1 and 2, and Arthur did very well to win his No. 3 match."
The Eagles will be back in action on Saturday as they travel to take on Big South Conference opponent UNC Asheville at 10 a.m. at the UNCA Tennis Center.