CLINTON, S.C. – Weston Jackson had an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to plate the go-ahead run, as Presbyterian College edged Winthrop, 2-1, in a pitchers’ duel on Saturday afternoon at the PC Baseball Complex.
The Blue Hose take their first Big South series of the season and improve to 17-13 overall and 4-4 in the Big South. PC goes for the sweep in the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the PC Baseball Complex.
Aaron Lesiak (2-1) earned the victory in relief, pitching 2.0 scoreless innings and allowing a pair of hits and a walk against four strikeouts. Hayden Deal earned his fifth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning, giving up one hit and one walk, while tallying a pair of strikeouts.
PC starter Tanner Chock tossed 6.0 innings of three-hit baseball, allowing just one run with two walks and two strikeouts. Winthrop starter Zach Sightler (4-2) suffered the loss in the low-scoring affair, going 7.1 innings pitched and allowing two runs on four hits with three walks against six strikeouts.
At the plate, Weston Jackson and Tyler Weyenberg each recorded two hits to account for PC’s four hits. Jackson was 2-for-3 with a walk and the game-winning RBI, while Weyenberg scored both runs for the Blue Hose. Cletis Avery drove in the only other run of the game.
The Blue Hose plated a run in the top of the first. Weyenberg was hit by a pitch to open the game, before stealing second and advancing to third on an errant throw. Avery then hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring him home and make it a 1-0 PC advantage.
Chock was dealing through the first four innings, as he retired in 10 in a row and faced the minimum, keeping the Eagles hitless. Winthrop got its first hit in the fifth on a single to center to put runners on first and second after a leadoff walk. Two batters later, Babe Thomas plated the Eagles’ lone run of the game with a sac fly to center to tie the game at 1-1.
Both teams put runners on base in the sixth but both pitchers were able to avoid any damage. With one out and the bases loaded, Chock got an inning-ending, 6-3 double play to strand a pair. PC put two on with one out in the bottom half but a fly out and a force out end the inning.
Winthrop put together its best scoring opportunity of the game in the seventh. Mark Lowrie singled up the middle to lead off the inning, one of his three hits on the day. After a pitching change, a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with no outs. Lesiak would then come on and walk the first batter he faced to load the bases with no outs. He would masterfully work of the jam with three straight strikeouts to strand three and keep the game tied.
PC got the run it needed to take the lead in the eighth. Weyenberg singled with one out and Avery followed with a walk to put runners at first and second. Jackson then came through with a double down the left-field line to score Weyenberg and put PC in front 2-1. A walk to Peter Johnson loaded the bases but after a pitching change a pair of fielder’s choices ended the inning.
Deal came on in the ninth to close it out. He struck out the first batter he faced but a single up the middle by Brandon Fite put the tying run on base. A fielder’s choice forced the runner out at second for the second out of the inning but a walk put runners at first and second. After a passed ball moved the runners up ninety feet, Deal end the game with a strikeout to cap off the 2-1 PC victory.
Lowrie lead the Eagles at the plate, going 3-for-4, while Thomas accounted for the only RBI.
PC has won back-to-back conference games by one run for the time since last season, when they defeated UNC Asheville in back-to-back one-run games, 7-6 and 6-5.