HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team swept Big South opponent VMI with a 5-2 win on Sunday. HPU came from behind, scoring two runs in the sixth innings to secure the conference win. The Panthers improve to 19-11 with the win and 5-1 in league games.
“We played solid baseball all weekend,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “We pieced things together offensively the entire series and Devin Bujnovsky came up big in RBI situations today. We played tremendous defense all weekend. When our starting pitchers come out and throw strikes like we did this weekend we are a pretty good team.”
Freshman Joe Goodman picked up his fourth win of the season, pitching two innings of relief. He gave up one hit and struck out three batters. He relieved junior Jacob Newberry who allowed two runs on four hits in 5-2/3 innings. He struck out two without issuing a walk. Redshirt-sophomore Jaime Schultz earned his fifth save of the season, going the final 1-1/3 innings of the game. He struck out two while giving up one hit and one walk.
VMI rallied in the sixth inning, scoring a pair of runs to take a brief 2-1 lead but HPU answered back with two runs on the bottom half of the inning. Senior Sal Pezzino led off with a single and advanced to third on a double down the right field line by Ryan Retz. An errant throw by the right fielder Jacob Morley advanced both runners, scoring Pezzino and moving Retz to third. Retz came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Devin Bujnovsky. The Panthers had a 3-2 lead at the end of six innings.
VMI was able to push across two runs in the sixth inning. With one out, second baseman Drew Bryan singled off the glove of freshman Ryne Rush and Matt Winn was hit by a pitch. Goodman came in to relieve Newberry but a single by Gary Leclair was just out of the range of a diving Willie Medina and the Keydets took a 2-1 lead. Goodman struck out the next batter to end the frame.
High Point scored in the first inning for the second-straight game to take an early lead after junior Sean Wilson walked and scored on a single by Bujnovsky.
Wilson and Dane McDermott each picked up RBI in the eighth inning, extending High Point’s lead to 5-2.
Despite giving up three hits in the first four innings, Newberry faced the minimum amount of batters. An HPU double play in the second and freshman catcher Josh Spano throwing out Leclair twice helped Newberry’s cause.
VMI starter Jeremy Brown falls to 0-3 with the loss after giving up three earned runs on six hits with three walks. He struck out two High Point batters.
Schultz put the first two runners on in the ninth, allowing a hit and a walk but got out of the inning unscathed for his fifth save of the season.
Bujnovsky finished the day 2-3 with two RBI including the game winner. Retz was 2-3 with a run scored and Rush went 2-4 with a run scored.
High Point will travel to Charlotte on Tuesday, April 3 to take on the 49ers. HPU beat Charlotte in the first meeting at Williard Stadium by a score of 12-5.