Winthrop University

Winthrop roundup: tennis sends retiring coach out with brave NCAA tourney effort

Though Winthrop’s women’s tennis season may not have ended as he hoped, legendary coach Cid Carvalho will still walk away a winner.

Saturday’s 4-3, first-round NCAA decision in favor of Oklahoma brought to a close the career of the iconic Winthrop leader. Carvalho’s Eagles won their 20th regular-season and 21st Big South tournament titles this season, venturing to their 17th NCAA tournament on his watch.

“I think we’ve been blessed with a lot of really good players and assistant coaches, and that’s where the success comes from,” said Carvalho. “Although I’m not going to be the head coach anymore, I’m still going to be helping the community and the players, (and) the tennis programs that Winthrop is going to have. I hope to be here and be involved with all those things.”

“I can’t even begin to describe how lucky I am that part of my career got to overlap with Cid’s,” added Dr. Ken Halpin, Winthrop’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics. “He’s the epitome of the word legend. He will forever be a part of this university. He stands for building leaders and championships.”

Carvalho also enjoyed great success while simultaneously guiding the men’s program, which he did for 26 seasons following the inception of his Winthrop career in 1985-86. The men won eight regular-season titles and five tournament titles under Carvalho, with 14 combined Coach of the Year plaudits (11 women’s, three men’s) on his resume.

Two of the most decorated players Carvalho has led will go on to the NCAA Doubles Championship in Orlando later this month. Fourty-fourth-ranked Lauren Proctor and Megan Kauffman will compete in doubles, while 55th-ranked Proctor will also compete in the singles event.

Softball faces familiar foe in Big South tournament

After taking 2-of-3 from Charleston Southern to close the regular season, the Eagles and Bucs will again face off Wednesday at noon in Buies Creek, N.C., to kick off the Big South tournament.

Fourth-seeded Winthrop (26-23, 14-10 Big South) finished a half-game shy of the third seed. The Eagles played for a league title in 2002, the most recent season in which they finished as the fourth seed.

The winner of Wednesday’s game advances to take on top-seeded Longwood at noon Thursday. The loser will play at 5 p.m. Wednesday in an elimination game against either Campbell or Radford.

Outdoor track and field championships come to Rock Hill this week

Winthrop will host the 2019 Big South Outdoor Track and Field championships this Wednesday through Friday. Nine women’s teams and seven men’s teams will compete in the events.

The women’s 100-meter hurdles open the event Wednesday at noon, with competitions running throughout the evening. Finals in each event will take place Friday.

Daily admission is $5, with an all-days pass available for $12. Students with college IDs and children five years or younger will be admitted free.

Baseball takes 2-of-3 from Presbyterian

Winthrop baseball has returned to second place in the Big South standings.

The Eagles (27-17, 14-7 Big South) took Friday’s series-opener in Clinton, 5-3, on the strength of six-and-two-thirds solid innings from Zach Peek. Peek fanned nine while walking only one, and allowed six Blue Hose hits. Grant English slugged a homer and drove in three of the Eagles’ five runs in the victory.

Nate Pawelczyk ran his season record to 8-3 with a complete-game victory in a 6-4 decision to kick off Saturday’s doubleheader. Pawelczyk struck out six and allowed six hits in the victory. Brandon Fite plated two Eagle runs with a double in the sixth, capping a three-run frame that provided the eventual victory.

Winthrop visits North Carolina Tuesday night, with Campbell visiting The Winthrop Ballpark for the Eagles’ final regular-season home series over the weekend. Senior Day festivities begin at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Rendon and Watson honored by Big South

The Big South Conference honored Winthrop baseball and softball pitchers for their performances last week.

Baseball’s Colten Rendon received the Reliever of the Week honor. Rendon recorded a save against Presbyterian, and went unscored upon in three appearances last week.

Softball’s Madyson Watson was named Pitcher of the Week. Watson won two games, including an eight-inning, complete-game victory over Charleston Southern on Thursday.

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