CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team overcame an early four-run deficit to beat Charlotte 9-5 on the road Tuesday. HPU scored four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead and Joe Goodman earned his fifth win with 3-2/3 innings of relief. The Panthers improve to 20-11 with their fourth consecutive win.
The Panthers reached the 20-win mark in 31 games this season, marking the best start in the Div. I era. High Point’s previous best was set in 2010 when it took the Panthers 41 games to get 20 wins.
“After a difficult first winning the team really settled in, focused and decided we wanted to win,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “I am proud of Jared Avidon for putting up three zeros after the tough first inning. Jordan Foster got us out of a huge bases-loaded jam and Joe Goodman closed the door. Sean Wilson and Willie Medina set us up well at the top of the order and Ryne Rush had the game-winning RBI. This is one of the most enjoyable wins we have had in our four years at High Point.”
Ryne Rush doubled down the leftfield line in the seventh inning to score Ryan Retz and put the Panthers on top 6-5. Retz reached base on a hit by pitch. The Panthers extended their lead to 9-5 with RBI from Josh Spano, Andrew Bartlett and Dane McDermott.
The Panthers tied the game 5-5 with two runs in the sixth inning. Devin Bujnovsky and Spano walked to lead off the inning and advanced in to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Bartlett. Wilson beat out an infield single to score Bujnovsky. Medina tied the game with an RBI single to leftfield.
Goodman improved to 5-0, throwing the final 3-2/3 innings of the game. He struck out four without allowing a hit.
Charlotte scored five runs in the first inning off HPU starter Jared Avidon to take an early 5-1 lead. An error by Andrew Bartlett allowed Leland Clemmons to reach base and the next three Charlotte batters singled. Justin Roland drove in the final run of the inning with a single to left field but was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning.
Avidon lasted 4-1/3 innings, allowing five runs, two earned, on 11 hits. He walked one and struck out one in the game.
Foster entered the game with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and got two quick outs to keep Charlotte from extending their lead.
Medina finished the game 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Bujnovsky went 1-2 with two walks and two runs scored and Rush was 2-4 with the game-winning RBI double.
The Panthers return home on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. contest against North Carolina A&T. The Panthers beat N.C. A&T 9-2 on March 13.