HIGH POINT, N.C. – Junior Ryan Retz pitched a complete game to lead the High Point University baseball team to a 12-3 win over Big South opponent VMI on Friday night at Williard Stadium. Starting in the third inning the Panthers scored at least one run in every frame.
“This was one of our best efforts of the year,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “The offense rolled through the middle innings and was relentless in every at-bat. Ryan Retz throwing a complete game on Friday night sets up the bullpen well for the rest of the weekend. This is a great start to the series but we have two more games this weekend.”
Retz went nine innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. The righthander struck out a career-high eight batters without issuing a walk. Retz improved to 4-2 on the season and has gotten a decision in every start this year. It is the second complete game for the Panthers this season. Junior Matt Armstead pitched a complete game against Manhattan on March 10. Armstead will face the Keydets on Saturday.
The Panthers handed VMI ace Coby Cowgill his first loss of the season, dropping him to 4-1. Cowgill lasted four innings, giving up seven runs, six earned, on seven hits. He walked two and struck out one in the game. VMI used six relief pitchers in the game.
The Panthers improve to 17-11 (3-1 Big South) and VMI moves to 9-16 (3-4 Big South).
Senior Sal Pezzino had an RBI single in the third inning to tie the game 1-1 after VMI scored one run the first. The Panthers followed it with three runs in the fourth to make it a 4-1 lead.
VMI cut the lead to one run in the fifth inning. Nick Dwyer and Michael Donovan had back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and both came around to score to make it 4-3.
Retz shut down VMI after the fifth inning, allowing just two more hits in the game while the HPU offense kept adding to the lead.
Freshman Ryne Rush went 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. He contributed a run in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings. Pezzino, Willie Medina and Retz each had two hits in the contest. Freshman Dane McDermott extended his hitting streak to a career-best seven games with a pair of singles.
High Point and VMI continue the series on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Williard Stadium. Armstead will face off against sophomore lefthander Campbell Henkel.