Winthrop University

Winthrop loaded the bases with two outs in last at-bat. Could they win the Big South?

Winthrop’s wait for an NCAA baseball regional appearance will go on for another year.

Campbell grabbed the lead in the seventh inning and held off the Eagles in the final frame for an 8-6 win that sends the Camels to the NCAA tournament for the second straight season.

The Eagles last reached an NCAA baseball regional in 2006.

Trailing 8-5, Winthrop’s Scout McFalls and Spencer Yankle drew consecutive walks in the top of the ninth, and, after a pitching change and a strikeout, Grant English drew another walk to load the bases with two outs. Matthew Mulkey’s RBI single cut the Camels’ lead to two runs with the bases still full of Eagle runners. But Jake Sullivan popped out and Campbell players met at the pitcher’s mound in a celebratory dogpile.

Jason Crumley gave the Eagles a solid pitching start, allowing just four hits and a run in the first four innings. He made way after the fourth inning, with Winthrop up 4-1. Run-scoring sacrifice flies by Hunter Lipscomb and Sullivan did some of the Eagles’ damage.

But Winthrop’s two All-Conference pitchers, Nate Pawelczyk and Colten Rendon, struggled over the next couple of innings, surrendering the Eagle lead.

Up 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, Rendon replaced Pawelczyk, who gave up five hits and four earned runs. The next Campbell batter, Matthew Barefoot, send a Rendon pitch over the left field fence to put the Camels in front 6-5. Spencer Packard then went opposite field for an RBI double to make it 7-5.

Zach Minnick added an RBI double into the left field corner, giving Campbell an insurance run and an 8-5 lead.

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