Winthrop falls to Eastern Kentucky, Delaware State in Coca Cola Classic

Posted February 25, 2013 1:03 pm | Filed under Sports

Winthrop dropped two games on the final day of the 2013 Coca-Cola Classic Sunday as the Eagles came up a run short in both games,  falling 7-6 to Eastern Kentucky and 6-5 to Delaware State.

The two losses drop Winthrop’s record to 2-5 on the season with four road games coming up this week at Clemson and Central Florida.

In the afternoon game, EKU reached starting pitcher Joey Strain (0-1) for two early runs in the first inning when Demetrius Moore and Doug Teegarden scored on a double by Alex Hughes.

Winthrop answered in the bottom of the inning with a lead off single from freshman Nick Bateman.  Bateman eventually scored on an RBI single from Clay Altman.  The Eagles would tie the game in the second when Stephen Wallace led off the inning with a double and scored on a single to center field by shortstop Kyle Edwards.

Winthrop took a 4-2 lead in the third when Cody Dolan started the inning off with a double followed by a walk to Matt Lobacz.

Eastern Kentucky trimmed the Winthrop lead to one run with one run in the fifth and then took a 5-4 lead with two more in the sixth. The Colonels got two big insurance runs in the ninth to take a 7-4 lead.

The Eagles rallied in the bottom of the ninth scoring two runs on RBI singles from  Lobacz and TJ Olesczuk, and had the bases loaded when the Colonels got the third out.

The nightcap against Delaware State followed a similar script.  Winthrop took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when  Cody Dolan  blasted his first homerun of the season to left field.

However, the Hornets battled back to score six unanswered runs (three in the second and three in the fourth) and led 6-1 going to the bottom half of the seventh inning.  Lobacz, who had three hits in the game to lead the Eagles came up with an RBI single to make it a 6-2 game..

In the eighth, Jace Whitley delivered a two out, two RBI double to right field scoring Tyler Asbill and Kyle Edwards.  Leighton Daniels followed with an RBI single to left to score Whitley and make it a 6-5 game.   Lobacz drew a walk to lead off the ninth inning, but was erased when Altman hit into a double play on the first pitch delivered by reliever Ryan Haas.  Haas got the final out as well to preserve the win for the Hornets.

“I think we are swinging the bats better and we got some good pitching,”  Winthrop head coach Tom Riginos said after the game.  “The bottom line ithough s winning. We need to win.”

Despite the three losses over the weekend, the Eagles bats continue to be hot.  In Sunday’s doubleheader the Eagles banged out a total of 23 hits.  Lobacz extended his hitting streak to seven games while Dolan has reached base safely in every game.. Lobacz, Dolan, Daniels, and  Altman all had a three-hit games over the weekend as well.

The first pitch for the Clemson game on Tuesday is set for 4 p.m.