Winthrop uses big fifth to defeat Liberty, 11-4
The Winthrop Eagles plated seven runs in the fifth inning on their way to an 11-4 victory over the Liberty Flames, Friday night at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Leading 1-0, the visiting Eagles sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven runs on four hits in the fifth to build an 8-0 advantage in heading toward the winning margin. The big hit in the inning was a three-run home run off the bat of right fielder Anthony Paulsen, who had five hits and scored four times in the contest.
Third baseman Trey McDyre drove in three runs for the Flames, who scored three times in the ninth.
Liberty falls to 7-4 in the Big South and 20-13 overall. Winthrop, who has won the first two games of the three-game series, moves to 7-4 in conference play and 19-16 overall.
Winthrop opened the contest with a two-out run in the first. Paulsen singled and scored on a double by shortstop Mitch Spires, who had three hits in the contest, for a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the inning, Liberty mounted a two-out scoring threat. Left fielder Jake Barbee singled and moved to third on a double by first baseman Sammy Taormina. However, Eagles right-hander Nate Pawelczyk retired the next batter to end the inning and strand the runners.
Winthrop broke open the contest in the top of the fifth. Center fielder Matthew Mulkey walked and designated hitter Grant English singled to lead off the inning. Paulsen followed with his home run for a 4-0 Eagles edge. Later in the inning, a RBI single by first baseman Tyler Halstead and a bases-clearing double by Mulkey pushed Winthrop’s advantage to 8-0.
Liberty pushed a run across in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Matt Allen began the home half of the fifth with a single. Pawelczyk then hit shortstop Cam Locklear and walked D.J. Artis to load the bases. McDyre followed with a run-producing fielder’s choice ground out to make it, 8-1, before Barbee bounced into a double play to end the inning.
Winthrop extended its lead to 11-1 with two runs in the sixth and one in the eighth.
The Flames scored three in the bottom of the ninth for the final score of 11-4. Liberty scored a run on a single by pinch hitter Dylan Allen and two more on a single by McDyre.
Liberty right-hander Garret Price falls to 3-1 on the year. Price gave up eight runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked four. It was the first time this season the freshman has allowed more than two runs in one of his 14 appearances.
Winthrop’s Pawelczyk held the Flames to one run on four hits over the first seven innings to run his record to 5-1 on the year. The right-hander struck out three and walked two in the contest.
The Eagles outhit the Flames, 14-7, in the contest.
Up Next: Liberty will wrap-up its three-game series against Winthrop, tomorrow at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.