Late rally falls short as Winthrop tops Campbell 7-5 in series opener

Ben Calvano (
Ben Calvano (

ROCK Hill, S.C. --- Ben Calvano drove in three runs on a double and a homer, but Campbell fell to Winthrop 7-5 in the opening game of the Big South Conference baseball series Friday afternoon.

Trailing 7-4 entering the top of the ninth, the Camels (22-27, 7-12 BSC) cut the deficit to 7-5 on an Eagle (28-19, 14-5) throwing error with one out. The bases were loaded following a single from Drew Butler. However, Matthew Barefoot grounded into a double play in the next at-bat as Winthrop held on for the win.

Reece Green (5-3) earned the win on the mound for the Eagles going six innings with nine strikeouts and no earned runs. Allan Winans (3-6) took the loss after giving up seven runs, four earned, on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work.

Calvano's one-out double in the third scored two runs and put the Camels up 3-0 heading to the bottom of the frame. However, the Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. WU later led 7-3 after putting up another three-spot in the bottom of the sixth.

Cole Hallum finished 2-for-4 at the plate, and his double in the third opened the scoring for Campbell. Hallum, who started the game as the designated hitter, also pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief and struck out four batters while only surrendering one hit.

Calvano's third homer of the season was a solo shot in the top of the seventh that cut the deficit to 7-4. Butler finished 4-for-6 at the plate with four singles.

Zach Minnick, Kevin Barron and Jimmy Monaghan all connected on two base knocks. The Camels finished with 15 hits as a team.

Hunter Lipscomb led Winthrop with three hits and two RBI. Matthew Mulkey also drove in a pair of runs on two hits.

Dalton Whitaker earned the save, his eighth on the season, in just 2/3 of an inning on the mound.

Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 3 p.m.