ROCK HILL - Winthrop starter Sam Kmiec pitched a complete-game shutout to hand Charleston Southern a 4-0 opening-round loss in the Big South baseball tournament Tuesday at Winthrop Ballpark.
CSU fell to 30-25 and will face No. 3 Campbell in an elimination game at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Campbell lost 9-2 to No. 6 Coastal Carolina. Winthrop advanced to face the winner of the CSU-Campbell game at 4:30 p.m.
Kmeic struck out seven and used 111 pitches to hand CSU its first shutout of the season. He walked only two and held the Bucs to five hits, getting stronger as the game wore on. CSU had only one hit after the fifth inning.
"I told our team they were up and had (batting practice) this morning, they were ready for us," CSU coach Stuart Lake said. "(Kmiec) had his fifth complete game of the year, he was really good."
We've been in the loser's bracket, I feel, since early March, so if there is a team out there that can handle, it'll be our guys."
Winthrop's T.J. Olesczuk hit a two-run homer off of CSU starter Tory Schroff (L, 5-4) in the third inning to push the Eagles' lead to 3-0 and put the Bucs in a hole against Kmiec.
While Olesczuk's homer was the big blow of the game, the Eagles took a 1-0 lead in bizarre fashion.
An inning after centerfielder Bobby Ison raced to wall in left center to take away a double and a run from Olesczuk, Ison lost a pop-up by Winthrop's John Menken in the sun that would fall for a triple. CSU's Alex Tomasovich stabbed a ground ball and threw home on the next play to throw out Menken, but short-hopped catch Sam Remick with the throw as Menken scored on the error.
CSU threatened a few times, including having runners on the corners in the sixth with one out, but Ison and DH Andrew Widell came up empty. Ison was 1-for-3 with a double and Tomasovich had a double in the ninth, his 21st of the season.
Reliever Denis Buckley worked three solid innings of relief, striking out five with one walk. He did not allow an earned run.