HPU Men’s Baseball Explodes For 19 runs, Sweeps LIU Brooklyn

Posted by Press Release on February 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

seven-inning 19-1 win over LIU Brooklyn to sweep the weekend series. Senior captain Jared Avidon shut down the Blackbirds’ bats, allowing just one unearned run to improve to 2-0.

“I was really glad to see our guys come out with a mentality of accepting nothing less than a sweep,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “When we answered their run from the top of the first inning I had a good feeling about what we were doing. It was great for us to get things going offensively. Hopefully we can maintain this offensive momentum for awhile. Any time you get three wins you got to be happy and I was really proud of the energy and intensity our guys showed all weekend.”

HPU exploded for nine runs through the first two innings, scoring three in the first and six in the second. Senior shortstop Willie Medina led off and singled on the first pitch he saw from LIU starter Chris Franzese, promptly stole second and scored on sophomore Josh Spano’s single up the middle. A triple by graduate student Adam Barry scored Spano and Barry crossed home on a chopper down the third base line by senior first basemen Ryan Retz to give High Point a 3-1 advantage after the first inning.

The Panthers doubled their lead in the second, exploding for six runs in the inning thanks to an error and five straight Panther hits. Sophomore Dane McDermott loaded the bases after reaching on a bunt and three singles by Bujnovsky, Spano and Barry extended the HPU lead to 8-1. After an LIU pitching change, Retz knocked a single past Blackbirds’ shortstop John Ziznewski and gave the Panthers a 9-1 cushion.

High Point refused to take its foot off the gas and pushed across nine more runs in third inning, giving the Panthers an 18-1 lead. HPU quickly loaded the bases after a leadoff single by McDermott and two walks. McDermott scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch and after singles by Barry, Retz and freshman Sly Edwards, HPU had increased its lead to 12-1, warranting a Blackbird pitching change.

A double by senior Sean Wilson scored Retz and he was followed up by freshman Dominic Fazio’s single up the middle, plating Edwards and putting two runners in scoring position. McDermott stepped in for the second time in the inning and was hit by a pitch, reloading the bases with one out. Fazio came around to score after a base knock by Medina and junior transfer Kyle Brandenburg was hit by a pitch. McDermott scored the inning’s first and last run as he crossed home after Barry was walked with the bases loaded.

Senior Jared Avidon was lights out on the mound for High Point, pitching five innings and yielding just one earned run on two hits while striking out batters. Avidon remains unbeaten on the year, bettering his record to 2-0.

LIU’s Chris Franzese took the loss for the Blackbirds, who fall to 0-3 this season. Franzese had an early exit after going one inning and giving up nine runs, eight earned, on seven hits with two walks. He drops to 0-1 on the year.

High Point was led at the dish by Barry, who was 3-for-4 with a triple and a game-high five RBI. The Simi Valley, Calif. native also had one hit in the first game to finish 4-for-8 on the day with six RBI and five runs scored. Spano added two hits in the back end of the doubleheader to go along with three in the first game and finished 5-for-7 with two RBI while scoring four times. Retz also chipped in adding two hits in four at-bats and tallying two RBI.

Redshirt-junior Michael Heller and senior Adam Pratson combined to finish the game for High Point. The duo each went one inning and held LIU to three hits and no runs. The Panther pitching staff only allowed two LIU baserunners to reach third base.

High Point improves to 5-2 on the season with the sweep of LIU Brooklyn. HPU outscored the Blackbirds 39-9 in the thee game series and is now 3-1 at Williard Stadium.

The Panthers will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 26 when they will face the Mountaineers of Appalachian State at home. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. HPU fell to ASU, 6-2, in the teams’ only meeting last season in Boone, N.C.

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