CLINTON, S.C. – Redshirt freshman pitcher Aaron Lesiak (Greenville, S.C.) tossed a complete game shutout and the Presbyterian College baseball team produced at the plate to win its series opener over Winthrop at home on Friday, 6-0.
PC improves to 11-22-1 on the year and 4-9 in the Big South Conference. Winthrop moves to 17-20 overall and 8-5 in League play. The two teams meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Clinton.
Lesiak, in his fifth career start, allowed only six hits and no runs in a nine-inning performance. The righthander walked four and struck out four to earn his first collegiate victory and move to 1-3 on the year. Winthrop’s Sam Kmiec threw all eight innings for the Eagles to the tune of nine hits, six runs (three earned) and four strikeouts.
Eight different Blue Hose picked up a hit on the day, with Glen Casaceli (Jupiter, Fla.) going 2-for-4. Cam McRae (Darlington, S.C.) and Nate Chong (Duluth, Ga.) hit back-to-back solo home runs in the eighth and Jacob Midkiff (Greer, S.C.) tallied two RBI.
All facets of the game clicked for the Blue Hose. PC turned three double plays on the day and only stranded four batters.
Winthrop drew a leadoff walk to start the game but the PC defense responded, using two strong Jay Lizanich (Greer, S.C.) throws from shortstop to get out of the jam.
PC drew first blood in the bottom of the frame. Casaceli beat out an infield single and the throw went wide to send Cascaeli to second. The rookie moved to third on a Billy Motroni (Goose Creek, S.C.) bunt and came home on a Midkiff sacrifice fly to give PC a 1-0 advantage. Motroni then stole third and crossed the plate with some heads-up baserunning while the Eagles caught Weston Jackson (Greer, S.C.) in a pickle at first. The play gave PC a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
The Blue Hose pitching and defense continued to keep Winthrop scoreless early. Twin 6-4-3 double plays ended both the top of the third and fourth innings as PC held onto its 2-0 advantage.
PC converted again in the bottom of the fourth. Jackson ripped a leadoff double that hugged the left field line and the rightfielder moved to third on a Cam McRae (Darlington, S.C.) sacrifice bunt. Nate Chong (Duluth, Ga.) then poked a ball into the infield that first baseman Chad Smith fielded and threw home in an attempt to snuff out the run. The throw bounced off of catcher Zac Goodno’s glove and skittered into the backstop, allowing Jackson to score and PC to grab a 3-0 lead.
Another leadoff double down the left field line kicked off the bottom of the fifth, this time from Lizanich. A Casaceli infield single sent Lizanich to third, and the shortstop came home on a perfectly executed Jacob Midkiff (Greer, S.C.) squeeze play to put PC ahead, 4-0.
Lizanich turned a masterful double play in the top of the seventh as well. The junior tracked a ball hit deep near second base, picked up the bounce over his shoulder and tossed a spinning throw to second for the first out. Motroni did the rest by throwing to first in time to complete the twin killing.
In the top of the eighth, McRae stepped to the plate with two away and nobody on. The junior lifted a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall for his fifth home run of the season before Chong hit another solo shot off the scoreboard. The home runs capped PC scoring and Lesiak fanned two in the ninth—including the final batter of the game—to seal the 6-0 win for the Blue Hose.
Winthrop's Cody Dylan went 2-for-3 on the day to lead the Eagles.
Winthrop............ 000 000 000 - 0 6 2 (17-20, 8-5 BSC)
Presbyterian College 200 110 02X - 6 9 1 (11-22-1, 4-9 BSC)
Pitchers: Winthrop - KMIEC, Sam and GOODNO, Zac; THOMAS, Babe. Presbyterian College -
LESIAK, Aaron and LONG, Derek.
Win-LESIAK, Aaron(1-3) Loss-KMIEC, Sam(4-2) T-2:00 A-212
HR PC - McRAE, Cam (5); CHONG, Nate (2).
Weather: Mid-70s, cloudy but sunny