HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Richmond Spiders scored seven runs in the fifth inning to hand the High Point University baseball team an 8-4 loss on Wednesday at Williard Stadium. Junior Jared Avidon was solid for the first four innings but ran in to trouble in the fifth. He took the loss, his first of the season.
“Unfortunately one inning was the story of the night,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “Jared Avidon was outstanding for four innings but the fifth inning was a tough one. We have to get some things going offensively. People need to step up in RBI situations. If we get back to that and continue our quality pitching on the weekend we will have a good series against Manhattan.”
Avidon cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two hits while striking out four Richmond batters. The Spiders’ fifth inning rally got started with a bloop single to right field off the bat of second baseman Adam Forrer. Forrer scored on a double from Eric Flanagan. Avidon caught another tough break when Mike Small kept the inning going with a softly hit ball in front of the plate that he was able to beat out for a hit. Adam McConnell was safe at home on a fielder’s choice for the fourth run of the inning. The throw from Sal Pezzino caught catcher Josh Spano on the finger, allowing McConnell to score and forcing Spano to come out of the game. Richmond’s seventh run of the inning came on a pass ball.
Avidon took the loss, dropping to 0-1 this season. He pitched 4-2/3 innings, allowing seven runs, six earned, on seven hits. He walked three and struck out five.
Richmond starter Alex Maffett improved to 2-0 for the season. He lasted 5-1/3 innings, allowing three runs on two hits with five walks.
Maffett walked Dane McDermott, Ryan Retz and Devin Bujnovsky to load the bases in the sixth inning and was replaced on the mound by James Lively. Spencer Angelis picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to rightfield. Ryne Rush doubled to right center to score Retz and Bujnovsky and make it a 7-3 game. All three runs in the inning were credited to Maffett.
John Siciliano picked up his first collegiate hit with a single through the left side of the infield to lead off the seventh inning. Pezzino picked up the two-out RBI to score Siciliano but HPU still trailed 8-4.
Rush went 2-4 with two RBI in the game and McDermott went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.
High Point (8-7) wraps up a 13-game home stand this weekend with a series against Manhattan. Malcolm Clapsaddle (2-1) will pitch for HPU on Friday. The game begins at 4 p.m.