May 22, 2014
ROCK HILL - Josh Strong threw a complete game to lead host and second-seed Winthrop to a 3-2 victory versus sixth-seed Coastal Carolina Thursday evening in the second round of the Big South Championship.
Winthrop (26-32) will have a day off tomorrow, while Coastal Carolina (24-32) will face third-seed Campbell in an elimination game at 3 pm on Friday. The Chanticleers handed the Camels a 9-2 loss in the opening round of the Championship on Tuesday.
Strong (2-5) allowed seven hits, as CCU out-hit the Eagles 7-6, but walked just one.
With the game tied at 2-2, Coastal threatened in the top of the fourth, getting runners second and third with one out. However, Strong recorded one of his two strikeouts and induced a ground ball to end the inning. From that point, Strong allowed only two base runners - singles by Anthony Marks and Tyler Chadwick - while retiring 17 of his final 19 batters faced.
The Eagles took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. Babe Thomas reached on a leadoff single and moved to second on a ground out. John Menken singled up the middle to drive in Thomas and advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Thomas, who moved to third on a wild pitch, scored when Clay Altman was caught in a rundown attempting to take second.
Coastal answered in the top of the third inning, tying the game at 2-2. Kyle Jackson started the frame with a single. After two outs, Marks walked and Michael Paez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Connor Owings delivered a two-run single to score Jackson and Marks.
In the home half of the fourth, Winthrop loaded the bases with consecutive singles from TJ Olesczuk, Cody Dolan and Thomas. New Chanticleer pitcher Andrew Beckwith got a pop out and nearly an inning-ending double play, but Olesczuk slide under the tag at home to give the Eagles the decisive 3-2 lead.
Neither team scratched the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Austin Kerr (2-3) was saddled with the loss. He allowed four hits and three runs with a walk and four strikeouts in three-plus innings pitched. Beckwith worked the final five innings, allowing two hits, no runs and no walks with two strikeouts. He retired 14 of his final 16 batters.