Lancers struggle in 7th, drop doubleheader

Published 3:20 pm Monday, May 17, 2021

The seventh inning proved to be Longwood baseball’s bane Saturday afternoon.

The Lancers outscored Winthrop 4-2 over the other 17 innings of baseball on the day, but Winthrop outscored Longwood 8-2 in the seventh inning to sweep a doubleheader 3-2 and 7-4 and take the series.

In the first game, Winthrop (17-25, 14-19) plated a pair of unearned runs to erase a one-run deficit, and they rallied for six runs in the seventh inning of game two to erase a three-run hole.

That was just enough against a Longwood (17-29, 10-22 Big South) offense that came in as one of the hottest units in the Big South. The Lancers came into the weekend hitting .348 and posted 24 hits over the course of the doubleheader, but Winthrop avoided the knockout blow in both games.

In the first game, Winthrop starter Colten Rendon threw his first career complete game, scattering nine hits over his nine innings while limiting Longwood to two runs. The second game featured 15 Longwood base knocks, but Winthrop turned three double plays and a triple play that cut down four Lancer rallies.

Despite the tough bounces, Longwood stayed on the attack and brought the tying run to the plate in each game. Eliot Dix and Drayven Kowalski each had a pair of base hits in the first game, with Dix totaling four hits on the day. Hayden Harris racked up four hits in the second game, one of five players with multiple hits for the Lancers. That offense coupled with competitive starts from on the mound Dominick D’Ercole and Andrew Melnyk that saw the duo combine to hold Winthrop to five runs, four earned, in 10.2 innings of work.

“I thought we got two really solid starts on the mound from Dominick D’Ercole and Andrew Melnyk today,” Longwood head coach Ryan Mau said. “We played tough all day long and showed a ton of fight. We just need to execute the tight game situations better so that we can close those games out late.”

Longwood heads home for its regular season finale against Charleston Southern on Thursday and Friday, May 20-21. The three-game series against Charleston Southern opens with a doubleheader on Thursday, May 20, at 1 p.m. followed by senior day on Friday, May 21, at 1 p.m. All three games will be aired on ESPN+.