HPU Ryan Retz Shuts Down Charleston Southern in Big South Baseball Opener

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Junior Ryan Retz pitched eight shutout innings to lift the High Point University baseball team to a 2-0 win over Charleston Southern on Friday in Charleston, S.C. Senior Sal Pezzino drove in both HPU runs with a double in the third inning.

High Point improves to 15-9 this season and 1-0 in Big South Conference action. CSU falls to 7-16, 0-1 Big South.

“We put together a nearly perfect game on the mound and defensively today,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “We were exceptional on the field and every single player contributed. This is a great start to conference play.”

Retz improves to 3-2 this season. He allowed three hits in eight innings with one walk and two strikeouts. Freshman Joe Goodman earned his second save of the season with a perfect ninth inning.

Dane McDermott started the third-inning rally with a single to the second baseman. Jaren Sustar slipped slightly while fielding the ball allowing the speedy McDermott to beat out the throw for a hit. Willie Medina worked a two-out walk to bring up Pezzino. Pezzino dropped a double in to leftfield to score both McDermott and Medina and give HPU a 2-0 lead.

Retz had allowed just one hit in the first four innings before Charleston Southern threatened in the bottom of the fifth. Chase Shelton led off the inning with a single and Walt Quattlebaum followed with a double to put two Buccaneers in scoring position without an out. Retz stranded them both with three infield outs to maintain HPU’s 2-0 lead.

CSU starter Ryan Gunther went seven innings in the loss, dropping to 0-6. He allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He retired eight in a row until Sean Wilson led off the eighth inning with a single. Charleston Southern went to the bullpen, bringing out reliever Corey Deighan. Deighan picked Wilson off at first and pitched around a walk to Medina to keep High Point’s lead at two runs.

The Panthers continue the series at Charleston Southern on Saturday at 2 p.m. Junior Matt Armstead will pitch for HPU against Charleston Southern. He brings a 2-2 record and 3.58 ERA in to the game.