Baseball avoids series sweep

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The baseball team hit the road this past weekend to face Big South rival Winthrop.

The Highlanders managed only four hits off Winthrop ace Sam Kmiec. Zach Woolcock had two of the four hits for RU, but the Highs only mangaed five base runners in their only shutout of the season.

Kmeic threw 112 pitches, walked one and struck out nine. Dylan Nelson lasted 3.2 innings in his start for RU and took the loss after gving up four runs on nine hits. He struck out three. Winthrop had 14 hits on the night.

Daniel Bridgeman worked 3.2 innings in relief Nelson and gave up two runs on five hits. He also walked three and struck out four. Oliver Powers retired the final two batters of the night, one of which was a strike out. Josh Gardiner and Josh Reavis recorded the only other base hits for the Highs.

In the second game of the series the Highs came up short yet again.

RU took an early lead with Chris Coia singling and stealing second to set up Reavis who eventually drove in a run with a bases loaded hit by pitch situation. The lead was short lived however. Winthrop responded with three runs on three straight hits off starter Tyler Costello.

Costello was making his first appearance of the season, coming off an arm injury. He went 5.1 innings and took the loss. Ryan Mesinger took over a pair of runners in the sixth with the Highs leading 4-3 but he just could not hold onto the advantage.

RU managed only six hits, all were singles.

In the final game of the series, the Highs finally got going offensively. Michael Boyle had a career best day on the mound, stricking out 14 Winthrop batters. The win also snapped a three game losing streak for the Highs.

Boyle gave up a single to Babe Thomas in the second and a one-out double in the ninth to TJ Olesczuk. Boyle finished the day with 114 pitches, 81 of them strikes, and walked only two.

In the top of the fifth Reavis got things rolling — singling and advancing into scoring postion on Coia’s sacrifice bunt. Blake Sipe delievered the game’s only RBI.

RU had six hits on the afternoon — all on Winthrop starter Josh Strong, who took the loss.

Alexander Lee went 2-4 with a pair of doubles and Patrick Marshall also went 2 of 4.

RU will host James Madison tonight at 6:00 p.m. They will also host Coastal Carolina this weekend with the series starting on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

RU is now 16-14 on the season and 7-5 in conference play.