CLINTON, S.C. – Jacob Midkiff hit an RBI single past the third baseman with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to score Cletis Avery from third and give Presbyterian College the 4-3 walk-off victory over Winthrop on Friday at the PC Baseball Complex. The Blue Hose improve to 16-13, 3-4 in Big South with series-opening victory.
With the game tied at 3-3 in the ninth, Avery singled with one out to put the go-ahead run aboard and force the Eagles to bring on reliever Zach Cook. A few pitches later, Avery stole second and was able to move to third on an errant throw by the catcher. After a strikeout for the second out in the inning, Peter Johnson was intentionally walked to set the stage for Midkiff. With a 1-2 count, he hit a ball just inside the line and over the glove of the third baseman to score Avery and give the Blue Hose the victory.
Midkiff finished the game 1-for-5 with a run and the RBI, while Avery was 2-for-5 with the game-winning run. Glen Casaceli went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI for his second three-hit game of the season.
Both starters recorded strong outings on the afternoon. PC starter Brian Kehner, who earned a no-decision, went 7.1 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts against a lone walk. Sam Kemic (4-4) was the tough-luck loser for Winthrop, going 8.1 innings and allowing four runs (one earned) on nine hits with a walk against three strikeouts.
Colton Springs (1-1) earned the victory in relief for PC, retiring the only batter he faced on three pitches. Russell Thompson tossed 1.1 scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit and retiring the other four batters that he faced.
Winthrop opened the game with a pair of runs in the top of the first. A one-out single and a two-out walk put runners on first and second with two away. Mark Lowrie singled through the right side to score one and Babe Thomas followed with a ground-rule double to score the second and give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
PC tied the game with a pair of runs in the second. Johnson led off the inning with a double and Midkiff reached on a two-base error that allowed Johnson to score from second. After two straight outs, Auckland came through with a single to right to drive home Midkiff and tie it at 2-2.
After a pair of scoreless frames by both sides, Winthrop added a run in the top of the fifth. Mitch Spires doubled with two outs to put a runner in scoring position and Anthony Paulsen followed with a single to give the Eagles a 3-2 advantage.
PC once again tied with a long run in the sixth. Hedrick reached with one out an error and Rob Koski followed with a double to put runners at second and third. Two batters later, Casaceli hit an RBI single up the middle to score Hedrick and tie the game at 3-3. Midkiff then won the game for the Blue Hose two at-bats later with the RBI single.
Spires had a big day for the Eagles, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs. Paulsen, Lowrie and Thomas each had a lone hit and an RBI.
Tyler Weyenberg went hitless on the day for the first time since February 28, ending his 23-game hitting streak. The streak is the longest in the school’s Division I era, eclipsing the previous long of 17 games set in 2009.
The two will meet again for game two of the series on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the PC Baseball Complex.