ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Winthrop baseball team used a three-run fourth inning to earn a 4-3 victory over UNC Asheville, as the Eagles take game two of the weekend series with the Bulldogs as well as game one of today’s doubleheader at the Winthrop Ballpark.
With the setback the Blue & White drop to 8-18 overall and 2-6 in Big South Conference play while WU improves to 14-14 and 6-2 in the league.
Freshman pitcher Joe Zayatz was credited with the loss for the Bulldogs to fall to 1-4 on the season. Zayatz allowed four runs on six hits in five innings of work.
Winthrop’s Joey Strain earned the victory, giving up two runs on eight hits in six innings pitched, striking out six Bulldogs. Josh Strong picked up his third save of the season, getting the final out of the game for the Eagles.
The game marks the second game in a row the WU earned a 4-3 victory over the Bulldogs, as well as the second game in a row that Asheville recorded more hits – posting 13 today and 12 yesterday.
The Bulldogs scored two runs in the top of the fourth, plating a run on a Kyle Towles double to left and a Tanner Bush ground out to first to go up 2-0 in the game. Winthrop answered with three runs in the fourth, scoring on an infield single by Brad Kaczka, followed by a two-RBI single by Clay Altman to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles added a run in the fifth, scoring on a Chad Smith single to right to put WU up 4-2. Asheville posted a run in the top of the eighth, when catcher Lucas Owens scored on a throwing error to cut the lead to 4-3, but the Bulldogs could not complete the rally to drop their second in a row to the Eagles.
The two teams will complete the doubleheader and series later today at the Winthrop Ballpark.