Winthrop University

Winthrop baseball gears up for Presbyterian

The Winthrop baseball team plays host to conference opponent Presbyterian in a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. The Eagles will then celebrate senior day during Saturday’s game at 5 p.m. before concluding the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The teams have met 15 times, with the Eagles ahead in the overall series 9-6.

Saturday’s game will celebrate baseball’s eight seniors, Travis Shelley, Clay Altman, John Menken, Chad Smith, Brad Kaczka, Austin Lawrence, Michael Green and Josh Strong.

The Eagles (32-16, 10-8 Big South) are looking to continue a seven-game conference win streak that includes sweeps of UNC Asheville and Charleston Southern. Winthrop currently sits fifth in the Big South conference rankings below Radford, Liberty, High Point and Coastal Carolina.

The Winthrop offense is tied for second with Radford with a .293 batting average, led by senior third baseman Brad Kaczka. Kaczka’s .355 average is fourth in individual batting and he is currently on a reached base streak that stretches 17 games.

Winthrop’s pitching staff is seventh in the conference with an overall ERA of 4.13. Junior Sam Kmiec ranks in the top 30 in the country in total strikeouts (86) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.06).

Presbyterian (24-24, 4-14) is battling for a conference’s tournament qualification as it currently falls outside the bubble in 10th place. The Blue Hose snapped a six-game losing streak with a 9-4 win at North Carolina Central on Tuesday.

Presbyterian’s offense sits fourth in the conference in batting average (.290). Cam McRae leads the team with a .356 and Jay Lizanich is the eighth toughest batter to strikeout in the country, being struck out only ten times this season.

The Blue Hose pitching staff is ninth in the country with a 5.09 ERA and pitcher Russell Thompson is second in the nation with 32 appearances in 48 games.