UPDATE: PC wins opener, 4-3, on walk-off, wins 2-1 Saturday & wins 9-3 Sunday; Baseball Hosts Winthrop in Big South Play This Weekend
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 TODAY. 2 p.m. at the PC Baseball Complex -- Free Admission.
• Who: Presbyterian (15-13, 2-4 Big South) vs. Winthrop (16-13, 4-2 Big South)
• When: Friday (3 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.), Sunday (1 p.m.)
• Where: PC Baseball Complex – Clinton, S.C.
• Live Stats: GoBlueHose.com
• Social Media – @PresbyterianBSB (Twitter) | @BlueHoseSports (Twitter/Instagram)
• Admission is free
Series History (since 2008)
• Overall - Winthrop leads 12-6
• at PC - Winthrop leads 6-3
• Recent - Tied 4-4 in last eight games
• Friday - LHP Brian Kehner (PC) vs. LHP Sam Kmiec (WU)
• Saturday - RHP Tanner Chock (PC) vs. RHP Zach Sightler (WU)
• Sunday - TBA (PC) vs. TBA (WU)
• The Blue Hose return home this weekend with a three-game series against Winthrop after a 12-game road trip.
• The Blue Hose lead the Big South in hits per game (10.45) and rank tied for second in home runs (22). They also rank third in batting average (.294) and second in slugging percentage (.435).
• Nationally, PC ranks 48th in doubles (60), 59th in hits (292), 48th in stolen bases (41) and 64th in home runs (22).
• The Blue Hose have reached double-digit hits in 16 of their 28 games to date.
• PC plays six of its next seven games against in-state opponents, after topping USC Upstate, 6-5, on Wednesday.
• Winthrop holds a 16-13 overall record after falling to Charlotte, 7-1, on Tuesday. The Eagles sit at 4-2 in the Big South after a three-game sweep of Liberty last weekend.
• Roger Gonzalez leads the team with a .359 batting average and 30 RBIs. Anthony Paulsen leads the squad with 40 hits and 35 runs on the year.
• Zach Sightler leads the team on the bump with a 4-1 record and a 3.94 ERA in seven starts.
Weyenberg Hitting Streak Reaches 23
• PC outfielder Tyler Weyenberg is currently in the midst of an 23-game hitting streak that began on February 28. That is the longest hitting streak by a PC player in the school’s Division I era (since 2008). The previous long was 17 games by Jared Combs in 2009.
• During the streak, he is batting .398 (37-for-93) with nine doubles, a homer, 23 runs, 13 RBIs and eight stolen bases.
• He has recorded 11 multi-hit games during the stretch and has raised his batting average from .273 to .374 on the season.
• Weyenberg is third in the Big South in hits per game (1.54), while ranking seventh in hits (43). He is tied for seventh in stolen bases (9) and comes in eighth in batting average (.374).
Jackson Leading the Team
• Weston Jackson is batting .398 on the year to lead the team and rank third in the Big South in batting average. He also leads the league in slugging percentage at .698 and tied for second in RBIs (34), while also sitting second in doubles (14) and third in home runs (6).
• Entering play this weekend, he has put together three straight three-RBI games with multi-hit games in three of his last four.
• He put together an impressive series at UNC Asheville, going 7-for-11 (.636) with three doubles, a home run, five runs, eight RBIs, three walks and two stolen bases. He recorded at least two hits in all three games with a pair of three-RBI games as well.
• In Saturday’s win at The Citadel on March 19, Jackson was 5-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, three runs and four RBIs. The five hits tied the PC Division I school record for hits in a game, while Jackson became just the seventh player in the D1 era (since 2008) to reach the mark. He finished just a triple shy of the cycle and tied career highs for runs and RBIs.
• Last season, Jackson batted .395 with 17 hits, two home runs, nine runs and 11 RBIs in 11 games, before suffering a season-ending injury.
Hedrick Heating Up after Move to Third Base
• Infielder Ryan Hedrick went 4-for-9 (.444) with three home runs, a double, three runs and five RBIs in the three-game series at UNC Asheville. He totaled 14 bases for a 1.556 slugging percentage.
• In Saturday’s 13-8 win over the Bulldogs, Hedrick homered twice. It was the first time that a PC player hit two home runs in a game since last season when Cam McRae hit two home runs at USC Upstate on March 24.
• He then went 2-for-5 in PC’s 6-5 victory over USC Upstate on Wednesday. He now has a hit in four of his last five games played and has raised his batting average 58 points from .196 to .254.
Players Rank in Big South and Nationally
• Weston Jackson ranks 6th in doubles (14), 26th in slugging percentage (.698), 32nd in RBIs (34) and 36th in total bases (74). He also ranks third in the Big South in batting average (.398) and 55th nationally.
• Brett Auckland is fourth in the conference in walks per game (0.89), 31st nationally, and fourth in the Big South in total walks (25), 39th nationally.
• Tyler Weyenberg comes in seventh in the Big South in hits (43), which is good for 66th nationally.
• Jacob Midkiff ranks as the 43rd toughest to strikeout, averaging just one strikeout per 15.9 at-bats. He is 22nd nationally in doubles and fourth in the Big South with 12.
• Hayden Deal has made 16 appearances this season for PC, tops in the Big South and 32nd most nationally. Deal also has four saves, second in the Big South.
• Brian Kehner holds a 5.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is fifth best in the Big South and ranks 75th in the nation.