CSU drops series opener to Winthrop, 9-3

Charleston Southern baseball
Charleston Southern baseball(Live 5 News)
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 10:50 PM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. – Hayden Harris was the lone bright spot for Charleston Southern with four hits and two RBI as the CSU fell to Winthrop in the opening game of a three-game Big South weekender. Winthrop used a three-run second to lead to a 9-3 score line at The Winthrop Ballpark Friday night.

Winthrop (11-18, 5-2 Big South) was the first to strike in the second frame after finding three runs in the inning. Chris Ewing got things started in the frame with a single to right to score Ethan Fewell. Robby Taul and C.J. Conrad added RBI-singles in the inning to push the advantage to 3-0.

The Eagles pushed the lead to 5-0 in the fourth after a string of hits allowed Winthrop to take full control of the contest. Jack Spyke reached on an error scoring Taul before a Dillon Morton double capped the inning off allowing Ty Hooks to come around.

Charleston Southern (13-18, 5-5 Big South) got on the board in the fifth as Hayden Harris was able to carry the momentum and continue his presence at the plate, scoring Peyton Basler on an infield single in an effort to get back into it down the stretch.

Winthrop would answer right back with a two-run shot off the bat of Morton in the sixth and a string of hits in the eighth to push the advantage to 9-1 and earn some insurance to close out the opener.

The Bucs were able to make a little noise in the ninth to build on for tomorrow’s game two sparked by Austen Izzio’s hit by pitch. Reid Hardwick came on as a pinch runner in the frame and was plated on a wild pitch that also advanced Nick Rodriguez to third. Rodriguez would later come around to score on Harris fourth hit of the contest.

Kaleb Hill (L, 2-3) gets the loss for Charleston Southern after working through just 3.2 innings and surrendering three earned on nine hits and two punchouts. The Bucs used five other arms out of the bullpen on the night, Chandler Woolridge being the only to work through at least an inning.

Garrett Gainey (W, 4-1) picks up the win after the early run support, working through the five-inning minimum and only being charged with one earned. Gainey chased seven hits on the night while striking out four.

“I thought all weren’t ready to go from the first pitch. This was evident to me in our poor execution in the top of the first inning when we had a terrific opportunity to score early,” said Head Coach Marc MacMillan. “Quite simply, we did not demonstrate the grit and execution to be competitive until about the 9th inning. I’m glad we found it, but I am more interested to see tomorrow if we learned from the previous 8 innings.”

UP NEXT Charleston Southern will look to even the series with Winthrop Saturday afternoon, as Jerry Couch is set to get the start for the Bucs in game two. First pitch is slated for a 2:00 p.m. start at The Winthrop Ballpark.