HPU Baseball Drops Rubber Game to Radford

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team fell to Radford in the rubber game of the three-game series by a score of 10-4 at Willard Stadium on Saturday evening. The Panthers scored one run in four straight innings but the Highlanders pulled away with three runs in the seventh inning.

“We thoroughly got beat today,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “We got knocked around on the mound, made soft outs in the air and didn’t get hits with runners in scoring position. The good thing is we have plenty of time to get ready for Presbyterian next weekend and we will get things right.”

Newberry took the loss and fell to 3-2 on the season after going five innings and allowing six runs, four earned, on 11 hits with no walks. The junior also had five strikeouts in the game.

Mark Peterson went 6-2/3 innings to pick up the win for Radford, allowing four runs on 11 hits and no walks while striking out two. Peterson improved to 1-1 on the season with the win.

Senior Sal Pezzino and junior Ryan Retz each went 2-4 from the plate in the game with Pezzino picking up an RBI and Retz scoring a run for the Panthers. Pezzino extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Dane McDermott was also 2-4 with a run scored.

High Point falls to 21-14 overall and 6-3 in the Big South with the loss while Radford improves to 17-14 overall and 6-3 in the Big South.

The Highlanders jumped out to an early lead for the second-straight game, scoring three runs in the top of the first off Newberry. High Point got one run back in the bottom of the second after Retz led off with a double off the leftfield wall and advanced to third on a single by Ryne Rush before scoring on a sacrifice fly in foul territory by Devin Bujnovsky.

After a Radford run in the top of the third, the Panthers pushed a run across in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Pezzino. Bujnovsky hit a double up the leftfield line to start the inning and advanced to third on a Sean Wilson groundout before scoring on the base hit by Pezzino.

The two teams continued trading runs in the fourth inning as Radford got one run on a homerun by Zach Costello in the top of the fourth before Bujnovsky scored his second run of the game in the bottom of the frame. Bujnovsky led off with a single through the right side of the infield and advanced to third on a failed pickoff by the Highlanders. The rightfielder then came in to score on an RBI single by Mike Miedzianowski to keep High Point within two runs at 5-3.

High Point pulled to within one run at 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Rush. Willie Medina and Pezzino led off the frame with back-to-back singles and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. With runners at second and third and one out Rush hit a hard grounder to short to drive in Medina.

With the Panthers trailing by just one run, Radford pulled away in the late innings with one run in the sixth, three in the seventh and one in the eighth to go ahead by six runs, 10-4.

High Point continues its current home stand on Friday, April 13 when the Panthers return to action against Presbyterian College. First pitch against the Blue Hose is scheduled for 6 p.m.