HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team fell to Mercer, 5-2, on Friday at Williard Stadium. Junior Malcolm Clapsaddle took his first loss of the season while freshman Spencer Angelis went 2-4 with a run scored and one RBI in the game.
“Mercer took it to us tonight,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “They were the most aggressive team we have faced all season and they had us on our heels all night. We need to come out tomorrow with some of that aggressiveness on offense. We can still win the series but we need to come out with a different approach tomorrow.”
Clapsaddle went seven innings, his longest start of the year, allowing four runs on 10 hits with one strikeout. He allowed two home runs to the Bears which accounted for three of the team’s runs. Clapsaddle is 2-1 on the season.
Mercer starter Brandon Love went eight innings for his second win of the year. High Point scored one run on six hits off the left hander. Love walked one and struck out seven. High Point stands at 6-5 with the loss while Mercer improves to 10-1.
The Bears were up 1-0 when designated hitter Nick Backlund hit a two-run homer off Clapsaddle in the third inning to make it a 3-0 game. Outfielder Logan Gaines added a solo homer in the seventh inning.
Angelis singled up the middle in the fourth inning to score Ryan Retz and get HPU on the scoreboard. Retz had doubled to left field to start the inning.
Angelis scored High Point’s second run of the game. He led off the ninth with a double to center field off Mercer reliever Dawson Brown. He scored on an RBI groundout from Dane McDermott. It is the second straight game Angelis has started a rally in the ninth. He had a two-out hit against Elon on Wednesday and the pinch-runner who entered the game for the catcher scored the game-tying run.
Retz finished the game 2-4 with a run scored. He now has an eight-game hit streak, trying his career-long streak from last season. Senior Sal Pezzino also went 2-4 in the game.
Joe Goodman, Will Resnik and Jordan Foster combined for the final three innings of the game. Goodman allowed one unearned run. Foster and Goodman gave a up a hit each but kept the Bears from scoring.
High Point will look to even the series on Saturday. Matt Armstead will take the mound for High Point for his first start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m