WINTHROP 14, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 7
The Winthrop baseball team received a team-high four RBI from Tyler Donovan, and three each from Leighton Daniels and Justin Hopper as it earned its first win of the season with a 14-7 victory over the Northern Illinois Huskies on Thursday afternoon at KC Field No. 5.
The Eagles improve to 1-8 on the season, while the Huskies fall to 0-8 overall.
Matt Pierpont (1-2) earned the win pitching a season-high 6.1 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits, three walks and six strikeouts. Taylor Nawrocki (0-1) took the loss allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits, four walks and one strikeout.
Winthrop struck first in the contest with a four-run second inning to take a 4-0 lead. Donovan's two RBI double highlighted the inning, while Daniels and Patrick Gamblin added an RBI each. Daniels' RBI sacrifice bunt started the scoring in the second, which scored Matt Lobacz from third. Lobacz led off the inning with a double to right center field and moved to third base on a single to center field by Chas Crane.
Northern Illinois trimmed its deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the second when Alex Beckmann recorded an RBI fielder's choice and Brett Frantini had an RBI single. Frantini also posted a two-run double to right field in the sixth inning.
The Eagles responded with three runs in the third, one in the fourth and three in the sixth to extend their lead to 11-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. Hopper drove in all three runs in the third with his home run to left center field for his first homer of the season. Jason Driver's first career RBI plated Winthrop's lone run in the fourth inning, while Daniels had a two RBI single in the sixth. Driver scored the other Eagle run in the sixth when he scored on a wild pitch.
The Huskies made it an 11-7 contest with a three-run seventh inning on RBI's from Alex Klonowski, Troy White and Chris Divarco.
Winthrop added three runs of its own in the top of the eighth to increase the lead over Northern Illinois to 14-7. Donovan recorded his second two RBI hit of the game, a single, and Drew Hardee got his first RBI as an Eagle on a two-out single to start the scoring in the eighth.
Four different Winthrop hitters had two hits apiece in the contest, while the 12 team hits are the most this season. The Huskies had three players with two hits each, and Frantini had a team-best three RBI.
The Eagles will be back in action on Friday, March 2 against the Oregon State Beavers at Surprise Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00pm EST.