Winthrop University

This was biggest key in Winthrop baseball’s offensive eruption in Big South tourney

Winthrop left 11 runners on base during its 4-1 Wednesday win over High Point in the Big South Conference baseball tournament.

The Eagles weren’t so forgiving Thursday.

They stranded only four batters while smashing 15 hits in a 12-5 pounding of Presbyterian.

No. 3 seed Winthrop (33-21) advances to face top-seeded Campbell, which smashed eighth-seeded Charleston Southern 20-7, on Friday at 12:30 p.m. The Eagles were the only team to best Campbell in a Big South regular season series in 2019.

Thursday at Fayetteville, N.C.’s Segra Stadium, Winthrop’s Grant English hit the first of his two home runs in the first inning, a three-run blast to put the Eagles in front. Presbyterian clawed back in front with a four-run second inning, to make it 4-3.

But after Matthew Mulkey homered in the fourth, the Eagles took the lead for good in the fifth, Scout McFalls scoring on a Blue Hose error to make it 6-5.

Tom Riginos’ squad tacked on three runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings to put the game beyond Presbyterian. Brandon Fite’s RBI single, McFalls’ RBI double, Alex Raines’ ground-rule RBI double and English’s second home run buried fourth-seeded Presbyterian.

Raines and English both finished with three hits, while English knocked in five runs.

Eagles starter Nate Pawelczyk threw seven innings, allowing five hits and five earned runs, and striking out seven. Jason Crumley allowed just two baserunners in the final two innings. Winthrop has used just three pitchers in its first two tournament wins.

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