CHARLESTON, SC - It only took one swing to set off the second celebration at the CSU Ballpark in as many days. Derek Horton led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off home run to straightaway centerfield to give Charleston Southern the 2-1 win over visiting Winthrop on Sunday afternoon.
Horton drilled the 3-2 offering from Winthrop (21-25, 13-8) starter Daniel Willcutt (3-5) over the CSU Baseball Camps sign to the left of the 395 mark in centerfield to set off the home plate celebration following the game-winning solo home run. CSU (15-31, 6-15) was less than 24 hours from its previous party at the plate following Ryan Rizk's walk-off in the bottom of the 13th inning the afternoon before.
Wil Hartsell (2-1) picked up the win after pitching the Bucs out of a jam in the top of the ninth inning. The Eagles put runners on the corners with two outs following Jake Sullivan's single to shallow centerfield, before the redshirt senior right-hander snapped a slider getting Brandon Fite swinging for the final out of the frame.
Six pitches later, Horton connected on Willcutt's 118th pitch of the contest for the game-winning blast to close out the CSU series win over the Eagles.
Cody Maw went six strong innings in the no-decision for the Bucs in a game that featured a number of odd plays. Maw allowed four hits and a run while striking out three in the Sunday start. The combination of Jamison Mobbs, Seth Owens, Ryan Stoudemire, Eddie Hiott, and Hartsell allowed four hits the rest of the way.
The Bucs benefitted from a pair of Eagles mental miscues in the game. with Winthrop getting caught in an inning-ending double play on batters' interference on a suicide squeeze attempt in the second inning, while someone from the WU dugout interfered with a popup in foul territory in the eighth inning to limit another Winthrop rally.
The Eagles cracked the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning as Winthrop took advantage of a pair of leadoff walks to push the first run of the game across. Scout McFalls scored on Fite's sacrifice fly to centerfield to put WU ahead 1-0 in the frame.
Jason Miller's hustle led to CSU evening the score in the bottom of the eighth. Kyle Vesnesky reached on an error to lead off the inning and advanced to second on Stoudemire's chopper to shortstop. Aaron Miller singled through the left side to put runners on the corners before Jason Miller sent a slow grounder up the middle. The junior third baseman beat the relay to first on the double play attempt with his head-first slide beating the ball to the base to even the score at 1-1.
Willcutt went the distance in the loss for the Eagles. He allowed eight hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out four.
Josh Litchfield paced the Bucs offense on the day with a 3-for-4 appearance from the plate including his fifth double of the season and his sixth stolen base.