High Point Baseball Takes Series Against Liberty With a 9-3 Win Saturday

Posted by Press Release on March 24, 2013 at 8:12 am under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team put up eight runs in the fifth inning en route to a 9-3 series-clinching win over Big South North Division rival Liberty on Saturday night at Williard Stadium. Three Panthers had multiple-RBI games including graduate student Adam Barry who knocked in a team-high three.

“This team continues to progressively play better baseball which is very encouraging,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “This was a very important series for us even though it is still early in the conference season. We have a lot of work to do but this lets our guys know we match up pretty well against anyone in the conference.”

The Panthers batted around the order and erased a 3-1 Liberty lead in the eight-run fifth inning which was highlighted by a two-out, go-ahead double by sophomore Spencer Angelis.

Freshman Sly Edwards started the fifth inning off with an infield single and scored after a double off the base of the right field wall by Barry. A bunt single by junior Kyle Brandenburg and a four-pitch walk to sophomore Josh Spano brought Angelis to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. The sophomore laced the 3-2 pitch to left field scoring two runs to give HPU a lead it would not relinquish.

The double by Angelis chased LU starter Trey Lambert but the pitching change did little to stem the Panther tide as senior Ryan Retz singled to drive in both Spano and Angelis, increasing the HPU lead to 6-3, then scored on a single by senior Devin Bujnovsky.

Edwards followed Bujnovsky and earned a walk in his second at-bat of the inning, forcing the second pitching change of the frame for the Flames who called in Robert Gray. Edwards stole second against Gray then scored along with Bujnovsky on Barry’s second hit of the inning. The two-run single capped the scoring for High Point which scored all but one of its runs in the inning with two outs.

The Flames got on the board first in the contest with a pair of runs in the second inning. LU’s Trey Wimmer reached on a single and advanced to second on an error by senior Sean Wilson. After a Danny Grauer walk and a groundout to second base which advanced both runners, Alex Close singled up the middle to plate both runs.

The Flames added a run in the third inning off the bat of Wimmer when the catcher singled up the middle, scoring Nick Lacik who reached on an error.

Sophomore Josh Spano scored the first Panther run of the game in the fourth inning when he singled and took advantage of a Liberty throwing error to move to second. Spano advanced to third on a fly out by Angelis, then came home on a wild pitch.

Senior Jared Avidon earned the win and improved his record to 3-2 on year. The captain tossed five innings, surrendering three runs, two earned, on three hits and three walks while striking out four Flames.

Junior John Maloney helped HPU seal the win with a stellar relief performance. Maloney threw four shutout innings, giving up just two hits and striking out four batters to pick up his second save of the season.

“I really have to tip my hat to the pitching staff,” Cozart said. “All weekend long we pitched very well. Jared Avidon battled today and figured out how to get us five innings and John Maloney was just awesome. That guy right now is an unbelievable stopper for us.”

Trey Lambert took his first loss of the year, making his record 4-1. Lambert went 4-2/3 innings giving up six runs, five earned, on seven hits while striking out two.

Barry led the way at the plate for HPU, going 2-3 with a double, three RBI and a run scored. Angelis and Retz each added two RBI while Spano chipped in with two hits and two runs.

The series win over Liberty is High Point’s first over the Flames since 2007 when the Panthers won two out of three at Williard Stadium. HPU moves back to .500 on the season at 12-12 and improves to 2-4 in Big South action. Liberty falls to 15-9 overall and 4-2 in the Big South with the loss.

High Point returns to action on Tuesday, March 26, when the team plays host to inter-triad rival Elon. First pitch against the Phoenix is set for 6 p.m.

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